Marketing wines that can “talk to your customers”
Lionel Osmin & Cie: back at Vinexpo – building a future for southwest France
Renowned in southwestern France, and growing in popularity around the globe, Lionel Osmin & Cie is back at Vinexpo Bordeaux with an impressive stand. We asked him why the show is so important for his firm.
Vinexpo is one of the most important gateways to the world. You can’t not be at Vinexpo if you have ambitions to be an international business. We are primarily interested in meeting buyers from around the world. As our region is less well known internationally, we are more attractive to specialist operators in mature markets or importers in emerging markets who are looking to be pioneers.
WE PREFER TO DO THINGS TOGETHER AND BE SEEN AS THE LEADING WINEMAKERS IN THE SOUTHWEST.
What do you see as your main challenge?
Our challenge is to be able to show in all our key markets that have an ingrained wine culture that we have wines that can talk to their customers: wines like Madiran, Cahors, Jurançon, Buzet, Marcillac or Gaillac.
We have two main ranges. We have appellation wines that show the character and the terroir from their region and we also have a range of varietal wines. There are several ways to attract consumers around the world, be it through appellations, châteaux and brands, but also through the cépages – the grape varieties.
It’s these cépages that are the heart of our DNA. It’s why we have created a range of modern French wines called the ‘Les Villa Collection’ or ‘Pyrene’. These are wines made with indigenous varieties, which are sometimes blended with international varieties, so as to reassure the consumer. For example, we have a blend of Merlot, Tannat and Syrah, or Colombard, Sauvignon Blanc and a touch of Gros Manseng. These kinds of wines are what we see as the gateway to our other “wilder” varieties.
By having one range that is more sophisticated, with a distinct story to tell, and another that has a simpler message and is easy to drink, this gives us access to a much broader market.
In 2015, you launched La Compagnie des Domaines. Tell us how that came about.
La Compagnie des Domaines is a new dynamic organisation with the ambition to promote and help raise the awareness of producers in the south west of France that we believe have great potential and share similar goals. They include five remarkable producers:
- Domaine San de Guilhem (IGP Gascogne),
- Domaine Berthoumieu (AOP Madiran & Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh),
- Clos de la Vierge and Clos Cancaillau (AOP Jurançon)
- Domaine de Bachen (IGP Landes)
- Clos Joliette (AOP Jurançon)
We hope to add more in the future who share the same philosophy of the other members of La Compagnie des Domaines. Producers that want to keep the DNA of winemakers rooted in the southwest of France; winemakers who also have a real knowledge of both the French and international markets, and want to help this region find its place in the world wine market.
We work with and have partnerships with cooperatives and land owners, who all manage their own wines, and can guarantee they have the necessary winemaking and marketing know-how to make a difference.
We work with producers who share these factors:
- They have a relevant vision for their property and wines, based on the quality and potential of their terroir, with an ambition to market them both in France and for export;
- They have a strategy on how to position their different wine ranges in the market;
- They want to work with the strength of our distribution network, and also have a willingness to work together on this adventure both in France and internationally.
By working with La Compagnie des Domaines, these estates can look to build a profitable and sustainable future both for themselves but also for the economy of the southwest.
From the start of our business, Lionel Osmin & Company, we have always said the “company” part is very important to us. Instead of trying to go it alone, we prefer to do things together and be seen as the leading winemakers in the southwest.`
Hall 1 / Stand CD197
Photo: Damiens Sartori, Oenologist, Lionel Osmin & Co with Lionel Osmin, Founder, Lionel Osmin & Co