There are 300 trading houses (or maisons de négoce) which, for several centuries, have been a major financial and economic force known by the name of “Place de Bordeaux".
Wine trading began in Bordeaux around the 11th century with the development of business between Bordeaux and England. At the time, practically all of the wines were bought in bulk at the estate then aged in the cellars owned by the négociants who were then in charge of selling them.
Wine négociants must be versatile, combining technical expertise, market knowledge, as well as sales and logistics capabilities.
Gironde négociants handle over 70% of Bordeaux wine sales, exporting to over 170 countries.
They have a dual role:
- selling selected crus (grand crus or wines bottled at the estate by the winegrower);
- producing wine: négociants blend, age and sell wines under their own brand names, providing consumers with a guarantee of know-how, and retailers with a guarantee of regular supply.
At the forefront of technical and market knowledge, négociants have played a role in modernizing practices by developing partnerships with chateaux and directly at their own wine estates (one out of two négociants is also an owner).
Lastly, Gironde négociants are a fundamental component of the Primeur process since they are the ones who financially support the stock of wines from the most recent vintage of classified crus and equivalents, which will be aged at the chateaux for 18 to 24 months.
To learn more, visit the website: Union des Maisons de Bordeaux.