Mouton Cadet ventures into organic wines

Monday March 22 2021 by Vitisphere

 The blend is 87% Merlot, 7% Cabernet-Sauvignon and 6% Cabernet Franc, matured in stainless steel tanks to preserve the fruit. The blend is 87% Merlot, 7% Cabernet-Sauvignon and 6% Cabernet Franc, matured in stainless steel tanks to preserve the fruit. - Photo credit : DR

At the ripe old age of 90, Mouton Cadet is reinventing itself by releasing an organic version. “This important day is the culmination of several years’ work”, stresses Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, CEO of Baron Philippe de Rothschild (BPR). “We began by getting our 250 partner winegrowers certified HVE (High Environmental Value) and by producing a wine without plant protection products classified as CMR (Carcinogenic, Mutagenic and Reprotoxic)”.

The company’s new environmental tack should allow the leading Bordeaux brand (claiming 18.4% of bottled sales) to win back the younger generation, which does “not always feature in the Mouton Cadet consumer audience”, admits Véronique Hombroekx, BPR's wine director, “whereas 71% of under 25s are interested in wine when it is organic”.

Mouton Cadet also aims to use the innovation to restore the appeal of Bordeaux as a wine region, which is “suffering”, and “to safeguard the value chain from the vineyard to the consumer”.

Mouton Cadet now markets a 2019 vintage, easy-drinking organic red based on selections of vineyards on clay-limestone soils and gravelly slopes. “We are starting with the reds, but are already considering our approach to rosé and white”, adds Hombroekx. The organic Mouton Cadet label is reserved for the French market. “It will soon be available at Carrefour, Intermarché, Leclerc and Vinatis.com with a price tag of €11.50”, explains Hombroekx. Once they have reopened, BPR will also target restaurants.

For its first year, the label will account for 5% of the 3 million bottles of Mouton Cadet sold each year. “The two ranges will coexist. Organic wine will be increasingly ramped up, depending on the rate of conversion of our partner winegrowers and consumer response”. And this is just one stage of the plans. “In the future, we want to move towards zero pesticide residues, and beyond that, we will do even better”, says a confident Philippe Sereys de Rothschild.

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