The lessons learnt from the ‘Covid test’ label for red Bordeaux

Tuesday December 01 2020 by Vitisphere

 Winegrower Jean-Christophe Mauro is not only modernising his labels to engage with younger and less traditional audiences, he is also revisiting the style of his wines. Winegrower Jean-Christophe Mauro is not only modernising his labels to engage with younger and less traditional audiences, he is also revisiting the style of his wines. - Photo credit : Chapelle Bérard

This is what you call having flair. Bordeaux winegrower Jean-Christophe Mauro, owner of La Chapelle Bérard with 68 hectares of organic vineyards in Saint-Quentin-de-Caplong, launched a pop-up ‘Covid test’ label. He decided to take a humorous approach to the coronavirus pandemic, and its trademark symptom of loss of smell. The intention is also to reverse the downward sales trend of red appellation wines, which has affected Bordeaux in particular. His pared-down label offers some unorthodox “instructions” for testing for Covid [...], “which should only be taken humorously”. “Pour yourself a large glass of wine and smell it. If you can smell it, taste it. If you can smell it and taste it: you don't have Covid!!!!*”

The wine has been extremely successful. “It’s easy to sell a wine with an unconventional label. What's interesting is that consumers are making repeat purchases”, stresses Mauro. According to Barthod wine merchants in Besançon, the gamble has paid off: “Customers originally bought the wine because it was fun. But then they came back to buy it as a wine for everyday drinking. Jean-Christophe Mauro has got it spot on – he sells a ready to drink 2016 Bordeaux for €8.75”.

The wine merchant would like to see more Bordeaux wines go down this route and reconnect with consumers. Jean-Christophe Mauro feels that “it is very important for our appellation to show people that it can blow the dust off its image. When you look at labels of Bordeaux, they have barely changed over the last fifty years. There are five diagonal rows of vines, a chateau and gold/silver gilding. We have not moved on, but society has”.

 

* “Last night I did the test several times and it always came back negative”, continues the label.

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