European wineries unite

Nine wineries from across Europe have joined forces to promote the Old World’s heritage through a series of collaborations.

The Founding Wineries of Europe initiative was established by Cécile Bonnefond, chief executive of Piper Heidsieck Champagne. She has recruited established brands from France, Italy, Spain and Portugal to run joint consumer activity.

The collaboration began in Shanghai earlier this year with tastings featuring wines from the four countries under one roof and the group is now hoping to extend the project following its success in Asia.

The member wineries are: Marqués de Riscal, Bodegas Ysios and Campo Viejo from Spain; Italy’s Casa Vinicola Zonin; Sogrape from Portugal; and Piper Heidsieck, Bouchard Père & Fils, Château de Berne and Ampelida from France.

Bonnefond said the group members were all long-established brands and activity would centre on promoting “terroir, legacy and lifestyle”.

She added: “Most [of the wineries] are still owned and run by families who want to transmit their heritage, their secrets and their skills to future generations. “Our wines are not only drinks. They evoke châteaux, architecture, landscapes, and inspire a lifestyle and the dolce vita. Our châteaux were built centuries ago and offer testimonies of our rich history.”

Marqués de Riscal export manager Javier Ybañez Creus said: “Going into things in partnership is always better, you have more strength and budget.

“When I saw Argentina, Chile and South Africa come together [for the Beautiful South tasting], I felt a bit jealous really.

“They are competitors, but they have come together to sell the same product.

“The group is a very good idea. It’s a very clear message for consumers and simple to communicate.”

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