our wines

THE NÉGOCIANT

Bounty Cellars operates in the tradition of the great French négociant, using the best grapes, juice and wine from throughout the Pacific Northwest to produce a portfolio of top-quality wines year after year. Current plans are to also import from more distant regions and countries, in an effort to make ever-more pleasing, great value wines for both public and private label sales.

Négociants have operated in France for centuries. Some own vineyards but most don't. Instead they buy grapes, juice and wines at various stages of fermentation and aging, and the winemakers create house brands to meet the criteria on the label. More than 190 négociant wineries operate in the Bordeaux region alone. Some négociants, such as Georges Duboeuf, have a recognizable house style and have become world famous for their wines. Many négociants also own vineyards. In Burgundy for instance, Duboeuf and Louis Jadot, are the largest owners of vineyards.

The salvation of an industry - Négociants may prove to be the salvation of the premium-price sector of the wine industry. Scientific advances in agronomy and viticulture, and related technology have dramatically raised the quality and consistency of low-priced wines, in an era when the number of boutique-sized wineries and speciality labels have literally exploded world-wide. The marketing and promotional costs associated with a boutique product, if it is to achieve a market identity worthy of the price, is about the same as a label with a production volume 100 times larger.

The paradox is that the scores of new, small-volume wines are entering the market (often former grape growers who used to sell to the majors, but who have cashed-in on breaking up their acreage, selling plots to multiple owners), while the public is amidst a mass evacuation from the premium-priced market. Barrels full of wine that had been destined for $30 a bottle and up retail, are now being drastically reduced in price, selling as Charles Shaw ("Two Buck Chuck") in the U.S., Yellow Tail from Australia or the litre boxes of Don Pepe in Spain for less than one Euro. Veritable oceans of great wine are flooding the market.

Négociants can build value for a specific label or brand and achieve a standard of quality that can only be delivered from top grapes or outstanding juice and first class winemaking. Selling this basic stock to a prestigious négociant for a premium price may deliver a better net return without the cost of bottling, labelling, packing, transporting and marketing.

Bounty Cellars Quote Left Each client orders from their available vintages and then their label is customized in consultation to create a unique and memorable label. The ones I've seen are beautiful.
~ Maxine DeHart, Business Columnist, Kelowna Capital News fff

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