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The Wine Negociant | The Wine Virgin
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The Wine Negociant

March 5, 2008

My friends and I were wondering what a wine negociant was, could you give us some history about them and what they do? Thank you Wine Virgin! - Melissa in Rome, NY

Great one Melissa. I’ll do my best to answer it for you. Long ago, imagine being an owner of a few small vineyards in France. You are able to grow the grapes but can’t afford to buy all of the products necessary for wine making. This is where the negociant comes in. In many cases, they take the grapes from these vineyards and oversee the production and bottling of the wine.

Negotiants will buy up finished wine from smaller producers and market it themselves or sell it in bulk to others. Also, here’s some wine trivia for you. A negociant-eleveur is someone who actually owns vineyards and controls the growing of the grapes vs a negociant who strictly brokers the wine products needed.

Through bringing many grower’s wines to a winemaker for aging and bottling, a negociant was able to become very efficient on a scale that small growers were not able to. This made it possible for the wine get to market at a lower price and through the negociant’s blending expertise, they were able to produce a conistantly better wine.

Companies in the US that buy grapes and ferment wine in a winery and those companies that purchase and blend bulk wines are often licensed as wholesalers and may own the brand name. They use a winery to perform the blending and bottling services and because of this it is often difficult to tell exactly which company or winery made the wine.

However, there are still many companies out there that are strictly wine negociants who provide their expertise in bringing the best varieties of wine to market which makes the enjoyable task of being a lush all the easier.

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