Rosé, the new battleground for major groups and celebrities

The rosé wine market, long considered a light, refreshing beverage, is becoming a new battleground for major wine groups and celebrities the world over. As demand for this beverage continues to grow, massive investments and innovative partnerships testify to the effervescence of a rapidly evolving industry.

 

 Over the last twenty years or so, the major wine companies have observed a growing craze for rosé wine. Once considered a simple summer aperitif, rosé has gained in popularity, becoming a truly global trend. Large wineries, traditionally specialized in the production of red and white wines, are now jostling for a share of the lucrative rosé market.

 

Yet, while there are plenty of local success stories, it’s the growing emergence of large conglomerates that is causing a stir in this field. Leading the way is Moët Hennessy, the LVMH subsidiary in charge of wine and spirits businesses, which has long taken a keen interest in the region.

 

Acquisition of estates

 

The first step in this silent conquest is Château Galoupet. This estate joined Bernard Arnault’s empire in July 2019. This property on the Var coast, given by a maharajah to his wife in 1973, was not one of Provence’s 18 most prestigious crus classés. A few months later, the acquisition of a 55% stake in Château d’Esclans confirmed the luxury group’s ambition to become a dominant, if not leading, player in the sector, particularly on the international market where it excels.

 

 

Sacha Lichine, an emblematic figure in the world of wine, sold his family’s Margaux cru classé, Prieuré-Lichine, in 2005 to settle in the Var hinterland. From the outset, this visionary proclaimed that “rosé must become a luxury product” and successfully launched the most expensive bottle of its kind, the Garus, sold for 100 euros. The Franco-American giant has enjoyed phenomenal success, propelling the Côtes-de-Provence, and in particular its Whispering Angels cuvée, to the forefront of the American market.

 

The Minuty case

 

In this fast-growing market, LVMH’s directors are convinced that they can do with Provence rosé what they achieved so many years ago with the Champagne houses. Their aim is to establish the Provence region as a global benchmark, as they have done for Champagne, thus creating a beneficial ripple effect for all players in the sector. Moët Hennessy president Philippe Schaus enthusiastically declares: “Provence should be to rosé what Champagne is to sparkling wines. We’re going to make Provence rosé, with Esclans and Minuty (totaling 25 million bottles), a first-rate product.”

 

 

LVMH took over the reins of Minuty at the start of 2023, acquiring a majority stake from the Matton family, Provence’s largest rosé merchant (9 million bottles a year). The luxury group thus secures its supplies (the estate has 151 hectares of vines), while benefiting from the best distribution network in the sector. Minuty also owns a bottling plant and plans to open a winery in the near future. The intrinsic reputation of the Minuty brand, a Côtes de Provence grand cru classé since 1955, located near Saint-Tropez, can also serve as a flagship product within LVMH’s rosé wine range.

 

The news of this alliance is seen as a godsend for the entire industry. It can only encourage all the estates (Domaines Ott, Miraval, Peyrassol, Château Thuerry, Sainte Roseline, etc.) to step up their exports, particularly to Asia, the Middle East and the United States, where demand for rosé continues to grow. Twenty years ago, rosé accounted for just 1% of wine sales worldwide, compared with 10% today. Wine and champagne sales currently account for just 4% of LVMH’s total sales of 79.2 billion euros.

 

Celebrities get involved

 

Bernard Arnault isn’t the only one to be captivated by the charm of rosé. The 2019 purchase of Château d’Estoublon in the Alpilles by wealthy entrepreneur Stéphane Courbit confirms this trend, as do investments by Vincent Bolloré (owner of Domaine de La Croix in La Croix-Valmer and Bastide Blanche in Ramatuelle), Richard Mille (owner of Château Rêva in La Motte), Roederer champagnes, which have acquired shares in the Ott estates (Château Romassan, Château de Selle and Clos Mireille), and even Chanel, which joined the dance in 2019 by purchasing the Domaine de l’Île, in Porquerolles.

 

Undoubtedly, celebrity marketing is also causing a stir in Provence. In addition to the celebrities already mentioned, there’s also Brad Pitt (owner of Miraval), Tony Parker (owner of La Mascaronne), George Lucas (owner of Margüi), George Clooney (owner of Canadel), Ridley Scott (owner of Mas des Infermières), Patrick Bruel (owner of Domaine Leos), Kylie Minogue (owner of Sainte-Roseline), and many more.

 

 

Read also>[Luxus+ Magazine] The rosé : Its success story, from aperitif to recognized table wine

Featured photo : ©Press

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The editorial team
Thanks to its extensive knowledge of these sectors, the Luxus + editorial team deciphers for its readers the main economic and technological stakes in fashion, watchmaking, jewelry, gastronomy, perfumes and cosmetics, hotels, and prestigious real estate.

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