Home / Lifestyle / Food Reviews

French winery gets in swing with Ryder Cup

By Belle Taylor | China Daily | Updated: 2014-07-20 15:08

French winery gets in swing with Ryder Cup

Anthony Gourmel, with a bottle of Mouton Cadet, says a bigger market for mid-range wines will emerge in China. Provided to China Daily

It is difficult to think of any wines held in higher regard in China than those from Chateau Mouton Rothschild, in Bordeaux, France.

French winery gets in swing with Ryder Cup

Maid-themed cafe in Chongqing 

French winery gets in swing with Ryder Cup

Have you got 'blood bag' drink? 

Not only does the winery, owned by Baron Philippe de Rothschild, produce some of the most sought after and expensive wines worldwide, it was also one of the first wineries to import into China, building brand loyalty in the country and capturing the imagination of wealthy drinkers.

Not everyone, however, can afford the astronomical prices of a bottle of the premium Chateau Mouton Rothschild, and may instead reach for a Mouton Cadet, the company's more affordable range that is also the Bordeaux region's most successful wine, sold around the world as an entry point for the casual drinker who want to experience Bordeaux without the price tag.

Mouton Cadet has now secured the rights to supply wine for the world's top golf tournament - the Ryder Cup, contested by the top 24 players from Europe and the United States. This year, the competition takes place from Sept 24 to 28 in Gleneagles, Scotland, but the limited-edition wines made specially for the event, featuring a red, white and rose, will be widely available in China. Anthony Gourmel, Rothschild's representative director for Asia, is confident the association with the cup will prove a boon to the brand in China, even though the tournament is on the other side of the world.

"There are 38 million people who play golf in China; of them almost 12 million are fans of the Ryder Cup," says Gourmel. "Even if no Chinese are playing, we still have a potential 12 million people in China following the Ryder Cup."

Of the 70,000 bottles produced in the range, 10,000 will be sold across China. Mouton Cadet is already the wine sponsor of the Cannes film festival in France, and the Ryder Cup will help it reach an even greater audience.

China is known for its fascination with Bordeaux wines, so much so that there is concern that an outsized interest from the country could damage the region, pushing prices beyond the reach of ordinary drinkers and hurting the region's reputation in the long run. Gourmel, however, is not concerned.

"An emerging market always wants to start with the most established (product)," Gourmel says.

He says that as the Chinese wine market matures, people will drink more, and a bigger market for mid-range wines will emerge.

"You cannot drink Chateau Mouton Rothschild all the time, so brands like Mouton Cadet, which are premier but not so high, (have) good potential," Gourmel says.

Gourmel says Mouton Cadet grew into China from the south - through Hong Kong, and most of its business is now focused in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou - where the company has its own wine bar. But the west of the country is proving to be a growing market. And, although the numbers are small, he is confident they will continue to rise.

"We have two offices there - one in Chengdu and one in Chongqing. Right now the business is relatively small but three years ago it was almost zero, so step by step it's moving up - give it time."

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349