Barton & Guestier pursues quality and sustainability

18 February, 2021 by Dan Hughes

In the National Liquor News 2021 Industry Leaders Forum, Barton & Guestier Deputy General Manager Philippe Marion shared his thoughts about the Australian market. 

It was the year of rosé for French winemaker and distributor Barton & Guestier, introducing two different pink styles that received a great response from the Australian consumer.

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Among its new releases, the B&G Côtes de Provence and B&G Rosé d’Anjou, as well as an IGP Pays d’Oc, B&G Réserve Rosé wines were big contributing factors to Barton & Guestier’s strong growth in the Australian market in 2020. Barton & Guestier Deputy General Manager, Philippe Marion, is pleased at the positive results that rosé has driven for the company at a difficult time.

“2020 was an excellent year for Barton & Guestier in Australia, despite the complicated COVID situation and lockdown of the restaurant business. Sales were up almost 40 per cent versus 2019, especially in major chains where 2020 was the year of introduction of our rosé wines,” Marion said.

He also believes that COVID-19 lockdowns throughout Australia shifted the trend towards investing in better quality wines, drinking less or turning to low alcohol or alcohol-free wines.

“Therefore, low and no alcoholic drinks along with vegan friendly wine will remain a growing category,” he explained to National Liquor News.

“Also with regard to the environment, people will probably become more aware of environmental certifications and corporate social responsibility statements.”

Barton & Guestier prides itself on being involved in sustainable management for more than 50 years. It’s Château Magnol and company headquarters are active members of the Environmental Management System for Bordeaux Wines, certified ISO 14001 since 2013.

Since 2017, Barton & Guestier also obtained the High Environmental Value Level Three certification, attesting that all its actions respect the environment, in areas including air climate, energy, water, soil, biodiversity and landscape.

“Our B&G Réserve Rosé will carry the Sustainable Winegrowing certification on the front label,” Marion added.

This will prove to be an important element of Barton & Guestier’s success as the year goes on, especially considering the trend noticed in Australian consumers to search for sustainable wines that are new and exciting, yet convenient to purchase.

Retail is key to helping Barton & Guestier meet these consumer demands and this is why the company has employed a dedicated Australian sales manager, based in Melbourne.

Marion said: “Of course, brick and mortar retail will definitely remain a core priority of our strategy.”

Pursuit of quality remains

Despite producing quality wine for nearly 300 years, Barton & Guestier continues to develop ways of tantalising the tastebuds of its customers. Since its first barrel of wine in 1725 it has held its consumers at the heart of its strategy and always innovated to produce great tasting wine.

“Our founder’s pioneering spirit is still inspiring Laurent Prada, Barton & Guestier Head Winemaker, and the entire team,” Marion said.

“Barton & Guestier wines were the first French wines to land in Australia in 1837… In 2021 we continue our efforts on the rosé wines, but also on other appellations, like those from Bordeaux and Loire Valley, as we are the only French wine brand offering appellations wines from all the winegrowing regions.”

In addition, Barton & Guestier also offers a range of sparkling wines and recently launched an alcohol free sparkling wine which it believes will fill some consumer needs in 2021.

This article was originally published in the National Liquor News 2021 Industry Leaders Forum, available to read here.