Bordeaux wine group, Conseil Interprofessional du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB), has earmarked the UK as one of seven key markets for its 2020 promotional activity, which includes a strategy to attract new and younger drinkers.

The CIVB plans to encourage more winemakers to share their stories directly with consumers once lockdown rules have been relaxed. This forms part of a strategy to present a “more human face” of Bordeaux to UK consumers.

Allan Sichel, CIVB president, told DRN: “The UK is a very important market for Bordeaux. It is the number three export destination after China and the US and it performed well in 2019 with stable volumes and a 15% increase in value. This is in line with our strategy which has been a move away from the bottom end and focusing more on the wines priced between £7 to £20.”

Looking ahead the CIVB has plans to highlight the stories of the vine growers and winemakers from Bordeaux, many of whom have worked in the industry for many years.

Sichel said: “We want to bring the growers and wine makers out to hear their stories. We know that for those at the point-of-sale it is very positive to have the growers and wine makers there. And it is also useful for the growers to have more interaction with the end consumer.”

In addition the CIVB has already revamped its annual 100 Best Bordeaux wines activity and tasting event, with the concept now known as The Hot Bordeaux Selection.

The wines are segmented into four groups: “fresh and crisp” whites, “smooth and fruity”, “ethical wines” and “rich and complex” reds. The focus will continue to be on “everyday” wines, priced between £6 and £25.

It also announced last month that it had assigned a new date for its inaugural Bordeaux Day, which will now take place in the UK on September 9, instead of May 5.

The new event will have a big selection of wines available to taste, including producers already represented in the UK, as well as those seeking representation and listings.

The day will also include seminars and the Bordeaux Hot 50 wines will be available to taste. The event also aims to highlight Bordeaux’s focus on sustainability, and a number of biodynamic, vegan and organic wines will be available to taste.

In addition, the CIVB is currently working out a new way to present the En Primeur wines to different markets across the world, which is likely to see a maximum of ten people at a time in pods to sample the wines. The group is hoping this can be actioned in June this year.

Sichel said: “In Bordeaux we would normally at this time be in the midst of the En Primeur campaign and that hasn’t taken place. It normally starts in the first week of April. As things now seem to be clearer we think there is the prospect of showing the wines and we are getting together to see how this can best be done.

“It will obviously be more restricted with tasting booths allowing ten at a time and they will be given time to taste the wines. I think it will be quite easy to organise that here. But it will be more of a challenge overseas so we are currently identifying the 12 cities and shipping samples out. It will be more compact and nothing has been finalised but hopefully we can make it work.”