Bordeaux Wine Trip: The Newest Tourism Application for Bordeaux Wines

As the gates of Bordeaux Fête le Vin open today, a new wine tourism application will be going online.  The result of many months of hard work by the CIVB (Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bordeaux) in collaboration with hundreds of Chateaus around the region, the new smart phone application “Bordeaux Wine Trip” will allow visitors to plan and organize their visit to Bordeaux before even arriving.

Available on smart phones, tablets and online at www.bordeauxwinetrip.com , the new free application offers a range of tools for visitors.  Traditional information on Chateaus and their tourism offerings are available, however it is the geolocation option that is interesting, allowing the user to find Chateaus, restaurants and hotels around the user or in a specific area.  You can then create an itinerary and access it later. Knowing that many of the user’s may be from another country (ie they will not have 3G coverage in France) the application also indicates a map of WIFI locations.  Following a model similar to TripAdvisor users can also rate and comment on their experience at a winery or locale.

Bordeaux Wine Trip works in tandum with another CIVB application Smart Bordeaux transferring the user directly to the Smart Bordeaux page on the winery.

The application is useful if you are looking to plan a trip to Bordeaux – or just looking to dream a bit while at work – but I would recommend it to those living in Bordeaux.  The WIFI option as well as the list of wine bars and restaurants is very thorough.  I am curious to see how some of my favorite addresses are rated.

The free application can be downloaded on iTunes or you can play with the application on its website.

Well that’s all for now… I’m headed off to see Bordeaux Fete le Vin for myself!

Wine Data System- New Technology is Saving Time and Money for Bordeaux Negociants

Wine Data System, an award winning company started by two young entrepreneurs has just launched this month in Bordeaux. Currently targeting Bordeaux Negociants, the group aims to facilitate the flow of product information between producers, negociants and their clients through an innovative data-sharing platform.

“I’m amazed that nothing like this has been developed earlier,” explained the group’s General Director Aymeric Fournier at a recent meeting in Bordeaux, “Most Negociants lose a lot of time with this, and time is money.”

So what is this amazing new system? To put it simply, Wine Data Systems takes the basic, but often overwhelming task of creating and sharing wine tasting sheets.  It then allows its users to access and share the totality of their information through their online data platform.

Old School

Imagine having to create a wine tasting sheet for hundreds of thousands of wines – each vintage, in several languages.  This is a task assumed by all Negociants who need the information for their clients.  Often the large task falls into the laps of young interns, but at times even the work of the commercial teams is needed, creating additional costs and complications for the business.

A need for an efficient system that could provide reliable information was recognized by both Clovis Durand-Moldawan (now President of WDS) and Aymeric Fournier (now the Director of WDS). The two began working together in 2011 and this May Wine Data System officially launched its services to eager clients.

How does it work?

Wine Data Systems offers two mutually supportive services.

WineData “On Demand”: This service is the creation of wine tasting sheets for the wines in a Negociant’s porfolio. Each sheet is uniform in style and the information is tailored to the needs of the client (technical information, visuals, press notes, tasting notes, etc), in both French and in English.

Wine Data Manager: This is the group’s online platform that allows its users to securely access the totality of their account information.  Using the technology PIM (Product Information Management) users can access, update and share their database of information either on their computers or tablets such as iPads.  With this technology sales agents can easily communicate valuable information to buyers while on the road.

Next steps:

Wine Data System has already received an overwhelming response from Bordeaux’s most prestigious wine traders.  Many of Bordeaux’s top names signed up before the service was even available.

For the moment Wine Data System is focusing on Bordeaux negociants, but new markets for the technology are never far behind – importers, distributors and even large retail outlets around the world could benefit from uniform and reliable product information.

This is only the beginning — it will be interesting to see where this small Bordeaux Start-Up shows up next.

To learn more and to follow these savvy entrepreneurs check out their website: www.winedatasystem.com or on Facebook and Twitter.

The Telephone App ‘Smart Bordeaux’ is about to Get Smarter

With more than 50,000 downloads and 100,000 updates in 82 countries, ‘Smart Bordeaux’ is quickly becoming one of the most popular wine applications for the Bordeaux region — and this is only the beginning.   A newer, more modern version with additional sharing options will launched at this year’s Bordeaux Fête le Vin in June.  Here’s what you need to know.

The Angle:

Smart Bordeaux was developed by the CIVB (Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux) with the goal of making Bordeaux more approachable, easier to understand and more modern.  As a growing number of consumers are finding their wine information online, it only seemed natural to create a smart phone application that would provide these wine lovers with all of the information they are craving. Working with over 16,400 Châteaus and brands, the CIVB has amassed an extensive database of information accessible through Smart Bordeaux online or via the telephone application. The information is regularly updated and is available in twelve languages.

The Application:

Smart Bordeaux works very similarly to a Flash Code reader.  With a smartphone (Blackberry, Android, iPhone) the user “scans” the label, the bar code or the flashcode of a Bordeaux wine bottle.

The application then transfers the user directly to the wine’s Smart Bordeaux page.  Each page includes information on the wine and its producer (wine description, blend, soil type, serving recommendations, food pairings…)  The application also provides contact information as well as pertinent tourism information if you are looking to stop by the winery to getter a closer taste.

The application also saves a record of the wines you have scanned.  This comes in handy when you are at a wine store and are looking to buy a wine you recently tasted. If you are looking to bone up on your Bordeaux trivia there is also a section on the history, geography wine production and current news in the region.

Bigger, Better and Smarter

A newer version of Smart Bordeaux will soon be available.  In addition to a more modern design, the second version will also facilitate sharing and opportunities to interact with other wine lovers.  After scanning a wine, users will have the option to post the wine on their Facebook or Twitter accounts as well as sharing via email.

The new application will also have Push Notifications.  Christophe Chateau of the CIVB explains, “For example if there is a tasting of Château Lafite Rothschild in Hong Kong we can send out a notification to the Smart Bordeaux users in that region, this allows us to directly interact with targeted consumers.”

The new version will also facilitate users looking to pay a visit to Bordeaux with a list of tourist destinations in and around Bordeaux – including wineries, restaurants and hotels.  The CIVB will also soon be launching an oenotourism application named “Wine Visit” that will help visitors plan their itinerary before arriving to Bordeaux – I will write more on this app in the coming weeks.

Where to get it?

The current version of Smart Bordeaux is available to be downloaded on application websites such as iTunes and Blackberry App World.  For the online version visit the website www.smart-bordeaux.com.

The new version of Smart Bordeaux will be launched at this year’s Bordeaux Fête le Vin on June 28th along with the new tourism application ‘Wine Visit’ — more to come soon!

What are your favorite wine applications and why?

Liquid Assets: How to intelligently invest in the Bordeaux wine market

If you’re anything like me then you are a bit gun-shy on investing your money these days.  Personally ever since I saw my co-worker’s 401 retirement funds dry up in 08’ I have been leery to say the least at putting my money back on the DOW JONES poker table.  Turns out I’m not the only one. More and more people are looking beyond the traditional to the creative (and perhaps even more historic) forms of investment – including three very smart French men.

In 2009 Nicolas Capeyron, who has worked in the Bordeaux wine industry for the past twenty years, and financial planners Frank Nogues and Philippe Bureau saw a growing number of their clients looking for a financial refuge for their investments.  An idea was hatched, and two years later Patriwine.fr launched its website and began taking orders.  One year later the group now counts an estimated 1000 clients.

Let me fill you in on the details…..

Bars of Gold or boxes of Bordeaux?

What?

Launched officially in April of 2011, Patriwine combines the speculative force of Bordeaux Grand Cru wines with the logic of financial planning.  With the advice of its staff, clients are able to develop their own ‘portfolio’ of Bordeaux Grand Cru wines.  Although the majority of the portfolios are comprised of first growth Châteaus, the group has seen strong potential in certain second, third and fourth growth selections. Patriwine guarantees the origin of each wine, a growing necessity in an ever-expanding industry of counterfeit bottles.

While most of these Grand Crus have the potential to age for twenty or more years, the idea is not to invest for the long term.  Rather, Patriwine recommends clients sell after three to four years.  The group guarantees the sale of the entire portfolio and the client will in turn receive the current market value of the wines.

Although many clients choose one of the group’s “Patricave” recommended portfolios priced at 10K, 25K and 50K, the minimum investment is one twelve bottle case of wine, so depending on the wine you’re looking at a 1,000€- 1,200€ investment.

Where ?

Patriwine is located in the center of Bordeaux, just across the street from the city’s prized opera house. The wines are stored in a secure warehouse just outside of the city limits.

Who?

Currently the clientele for Patriwine is predominantly French, either in France or expats abroad.  The group does have international clients, however to make an investment it is necessary to have a French Bank account.  Some clients are able to get around this if they have an investor in France.

Patriwine is looking to expand its horizons to new markets.  The English version of their website is scheduled to come online in the coming months and the group is looking into different strategies to facilitate international clients.

Why?

Simply put Bordeaux Grand Cru wines have a very high appreciation value.  To give an example, a bottle of Château Lafite Rothchild 2005 purchased ‘En Primeur’ for 450€ is worth more than 1800€ today.

In the last six years wines like Lafite Rothschild have more than doubled in value

And although it is the worse case scenario, if you invest in wine you can always open, sip and savor your investment portfolio  — tell that to the boys on Wallstreet!

Social Media Warriors: VinoCamp Loire

Wine is meant to be shared…

Although it may happen from time to time, (you know you’ve opened a bottle for yourself after a hard day at work), most of us choose to uncork our special wines in the company of our nearest and dearest.  For this reason, it is no surprise that wine has so naturally taken to social media.

These days, after Geolocalizing and “checking -in” at your favorite Château, you can tweet your arrival to your followers, scan a QR code to download your technical sheets and join the fan page – all before tasting a single wine. Yes, the act of enjoying wine is more and more about sharing the experience and finding a community to join you along the way.

France, one of the world’s capitals of wine and pleasure has joined  (and started in many cases) the online conversation. Among the most passionate – and the most connected- are the participants of VinoCamp.

First started in 2010 by technology guru Gregoire Japlot and Anne-Victoire Monzozier (known by her fans as the charming blogger Miss Vicky Wine), VinoCamp was created in the spirit of social media- to facilitate an exchange of ideas and create a community around wine- both on and offline.

VinoCamp, a free conference held several times each year at major cities around France (as well as an edition in Portugal) recently completed its seventh edition in Tours, the capital of the Loire Valley.  The event, which ran for two days, was a combination of the virtual (conferences, brainstorming sessions and online Twitter battles) and the physical (tastings and producer visits).

The Loire edition welcomed wine bloggers, producers, press agents, students and wine amateurs to brainstorm on a range of topics including the basics of Twitter and Facebook, legal restrictions of online wine communicating (Loi eVin), terroir & wine tourism, social media in China and the latest and greatest in communication tools ( Scoop.It!, Tripline, VinTank, Pinterest, TweetAWine, TweetDeck, Klout …)

Each brainstorming session was organized in a round table format, allowing every member to participate and contribute.  The end result was a mixture of shared personal experiences, technical know-how, pertinent communication tools and a newfound network of wine lovers.

Theory quickly gave way to practical application as wine corks were popped in a general tasting where producer participants were able to share their products with newfound wine-geek comrades.  This edition also included a special evening event in the caves of Domaine Bourillon Dorléan in Vouvray and a tasting hosted by Anne-Charlotte Genet in the caves of Domaine Charles Joguet in Chinon. The cherry on top of the weekend was a final glass of Chenin Blanc aboard the traditional Gabare boat on the Vienne river.

VinoCamp Loire summed up in images

The next stop on the VinoCamp tour is set for Champagne in three months time.  To become part of the movement visit their website and join in on the conversation. Hope to see you for a glass of bubbly at VinoCamp #8!