Yesterday, the 2011 edition of Vinexpo opened in Bordeaux and Burgundy was the guest of honor of the ESC Dijon Institute of Wine Management conference. Three keynote speakers presented the success stories of their business or organization : Florence Ragonneau of the Bureau of Burgundy wines (BIVB), François Desperriers, founder with Aurélien Ibanez of BourgogneLive.com blog and Jean-David Camus, who manages the Albert Bichot Hospices de Beaune sale every year.
The BIVB is the “official” voice of Burgundy wines on all markets. Florence Ragonneau’s mission was to carry the image of Burgundy wines on the Net and all social media. First of all, she launched a web site in 8 languages to reach the most important international markets. The site provides information targeted to professionals, journalists and bloggers, influencers and consumers as well as e-learning facilities. Then she took the BIVB on Facebook and created a strong community of about 2,500 “friends” around the Burgundy wines.
Jean-David Camus is a young entrepreneur who saw the strong possibilities of taking in the 21st century a 200-year old brand, Albert Bichot. For various historical reasons, Bichot is one of the biggest buyers of wines of the Hospices de Beaune during the famous November auction sale. Camus gave the opportunity to consumers to get together to buy a barrel of the Hospices de Beaune wines: a barrel allows 48 people to buy each a 6-bottle case for a price between 30 to 70 euros a bottle. It puts the buy at a reasonable financial level for lovers of great Burgundy wines. What is new is that the auction and the buy take place on the Internet: the prospective buyer registers on the dedicated site and agrees on a price (usually around 4,000 to 6,000 euros a barrel): if the barrel costs less during the auction, the buyer pays less. If the auction takes the price of the barrel over the agreed maximum, the sale does not take place. It is a wine-win deal for the Hospices and the consumer. To promote his action, Camus resorts to all available media: Twitter, Facebook, web site, links to blogs. The results are convincing: he brought over 1,500 new customers to Albert Bichot and sold several barrels of wines.
last but not least, François Desperriers told the amazing success story of Bourgogne-Live.com. Launched in January 2010 by a few “tweets” on Burgundy wines, Desperriers saw his audience grow because of the consumers’ interest in Burgundy wines. In March desperriers and Ibanze launched their blog, Bourgogne-Live.com. They were rapidly frustated by the lack of comments and of conversation. They then created a Facebook page where conversations regularly engaged on their blogs’ articles and videos. Meanwhile they also carried out links to news and other blogs they thought of interest to their community.
Those success stories put Burgundy wines on the digital map. Burgundy producers also got involved, helping to spread the word about their wines. By now, consumers would have to be very distracted to miss Burgundy on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and any other media. Enjoy!