Sunday, February 1, 2009

A blunder ?

Thursday, I was interviewed by LCI radio along with Angélique de Lencquesaing (Idealwine) and Thierry Desseauve to talk about expensive wines but also accessible ones.

I also had meetings with lawyers, Air France, dealt with visas formalities, had a visit from our faithful Japanese client, etc…

Alliance des Crus Bourgeois: We are finally seeing the end of the tunnel for Medoc’s “crus bourgeois” name, thanks to the conciliatory spirit, lacking in other places.

Christian Dalbavie left for the USA (Texas). He hooked up with Laurent Barbier for coffee who just finished his UGC tour for Chateau La Dominique.

A young woman who just retired from the wine merchant business, confirmed that there is a life after work. Ok, but probably not everyone has the talent to step back, like a friend of mine who is also getting ready to leave. Time passing is for me synonym with dead-end

I spoke to 4 Bordeaux brokers on the phone – one regarding Clément Pichon and an offer for an airline, another regarding Valandraud where my wholesale business is not working, another to tell me the pleasure he had tasting a few wines with one of his clients négociant who is interested in distributing my wines in a country we are not present…
And I have more than 12 sales reps in my company.

The last, a friend (in fact, it is possible to be friends with a broker ), told me how unhappy he was about my intention to change Valandraud’s distribution system announced on my blog. It’s true that it might feel strange, but I have been thinking about this new distribution system for months and spoke freely about it to everyone. It is true that if a friend of mine tells me that he is not happy, he has a good reason.
What can I do so my business transactions and sales puts every one in Bordeaux on the same level? When other brokers or wine merchant came to see me, anticipating and even proposing, or even better signing serious deals for Valandraud, Virginie de Valandraud and even 3 de Valandraud, even better for my wines from the Roussillon “Thunevin-Calvet” and some others were not even aware!

The “blunder” made on my blog helped us save time, time we all have before the 2008 en primeur campaign to plan our choices. In fact, nothing will happen before April-May.
Currently, we are contacting all our clients who regularly buy Valandraud (or Virginie) to see if they are interested in distributing Valandraud (or Virginie, etc.). We are also working with them to define sales networks in advance in order to avoid the kind of mess we are currently experiencing: ie. prices for some seconds are being offered below the release price and this is not all! (And I don’t say everything!)

Perhaps the form is surprising, but my method still leaves time for every one, brokers and Bordeaux wine merchants, to touch base with me to discuss the distribution of my wines.
I think that even my friends broker have forgotten the way I was excluded from the distribution of 2 famous wines when they reviewed the distribution system. It was not elegant, especially as it was for an important vintage in demand.
Changing my system doesn’t mean excluding and certainly not question work already been done, but merely trying to improve my distribution (for me and my clients), even if it isn’t easy.

Thursday evening, I drank with our Japanese friends: Clos du Beau Père 2006 which is better and better, and especially a very good Cheval Blanc 2001, which we drank with pleasure to the last drop. 2001 was such a good year. I admit that in that case, I appreciate the term Bordeaux “classic”!

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