Driving a brand

17 October, 2016

Not many wine brand owners have official status at international events. The Bordeaux brand Mouton Cadet is an exception. Christian Davis talks to Baron Philippe De Rothschild managing director Hugues Lechanoine

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MOUTON CADET IS the biggest-selling Bordeaux wine brand in the world, producing approximately 12m bottles a year. Brand owner Baron Philippe de Rothschild is heavily involved in golf and the Cannes Film Festival to support the brand to promote awareness and purchase.

Managing director Hugues Lechanoine says: “Mouton Cadet benefits from the worldwide network of Baron Philippe de Rothschild in 150 countries. Mouton Cadet owes its universality both to its extensive sales network and its partnerships, some historical – the Cannes Film Festival was initiated by Baroness Philippine de Rothschild 25 years ago – some more recent, such as the Ryder Cup of golf in 2012.”

The brand was initiated by Baron Philippe de Rothschild himself in the 1930s and it is now a worldwide name, its principal markets being France, the US, Canada, China, Germany, Russia, Japan and Korea.

The sponsorship strategy allows the company to create specific moments dedicated to the brand for consumer tastings. The relationship with golf’s European Tour and the Ryder Cup started more recently, in 2012/2013, on the understanding that both golf and Mouton Cadet share the same values of “tradition, elegance, conviviality and respect”.

Lechanoine expands on the four points: “Tradition, as both obey long-lasting rules yet embrace modernity and the latest technology. Elegance, carried by golf etiquette and by our style of wines. Conviviality, during play or, even better, at the 19th hole around a glass of our special Mouton Cadet cuvée made for the Ryder Cup 2016. Respect, as for one’s fellow players and for the course itself, and as we pride ourselves on fair relationships with our winegrowers while strictly ensuring sustainable vineyard management for Mouton Cadet.”

OFFICIAL WINE

Following a perceived successful first partnership at Gleneagles, in Scotland, in 2014, Mouton Cadet is again the official wine of the 2016 Ryder Cup to be held at Hazeltine National Golf Club, near Minneapolis, from September 27 to October 2.

For the occasion, the company partnered with well-known golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr to design a Mouton Cadet Ryder Cup limited edition. Jones started his career as a caddy, or ‘cadet’, for his own father, Robert Trent Jones Sr, while learning the skills employed by golf architects.

With that experience, he created a drawing for the Mouton Cadet Ryder Cup limited edition, a sketch of a caddy – which serves as a tribute to his father, as well as to Baron Philippe de Rothschild, who was ‘cadet’ of his own family.

For the past 15 years, the company says it has invested in the quality of the wine. To ensure stable, high-quality sourcing it has established special relations with more than 400 winegrowers in the Bordeaux region. In 1993, it inaugurated a state-of-the-art winery in Saint-Laurent, in the northern part of the Médoc. On this 17.4ha site, all the wines are produced, bottled, stored and shipped.

“Having all these activities on a single site makes it possible to track a complex process step by step, and ensures that quality is maintained at every level,” says Lechanoine.

Asked how he would describe a typical Mouton Cadet consumer, Lechanoine, says: “Mouton Cadet is appreciated by both men and women looking for a French wine within the premium category, a safe value to be shared with friends in a convivial manner. Mouton Cadet is a wine for connoisseurs and non-connoisseurs, prestigious but accessible. Bordeaux wine is usually associated with red wine but we also elaborate a great white and a great rosé signed Mouton Cadet.”

“Our aim is to continue our high-quality strategy in order to consolidate our position in the global wine market, but also develop new styles of wines that will please new consumers,” concludes Lechanoine.





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