The En Primeur in Bordeaux is one of the most exciting events for wine lovers.
An ‘En Primeur’ is the buying and selling of new wine in advance of it being released into the open market.
New vintages from Bordeaux are always sold En Primeur during the springtime following last year’s harvest. At this point, the wines from the previous year are already made and maturing in oak barrels.
Hundreds of wine merchants and international wine critics will arrive at Bordeaux to taste and rate the wines. The wine merchants are then offered the chance to buy the wines and lock in their purchase price. Only in 2 years time will these bottles of wine be released by the Chateaux to the wine merchants.
The locking in of the price benefits both the Chateaux and the merchants. The Chateaux benefit because they get to sell their wines in advance of delivery in 2 years. This gives them an early inflow of cash to fund upcoming winemaking activities. The wine merchants themselves also benefit because instead of waiting 2 years for delivery, they now have certainty over the purchase price of that year’s wine.
The critics who rate the wine can influence the price of the wine when it hits the open market in 2 years time. A big portion of the consumer market relies on these ratings when making a decision on whether to buy the released wine.
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