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Opinions that shape the market

27 August, 2008
Page 51 
When it comes to awareness of wine regions among UK consumers, the French still rule. French "region brands" of Bordeaux, Champagne, Burgundy and Chablis are clear leaders in terms of consumer awareness, affinity and usage.

In fact, only two non-French regions - Chianti and Rioja - make it into the top 10 regions in terms of UK consumer awareness.

The dominating factors are that these French region brands have been around for a long time and have become an accepted consumer shorthand for particular styles of wine. By contrast, Australian regions are much less consistently recognised, and consumers currently struggle to attach particular styles of wine to a particular region.

This last point is perhaps the most crucial: unless any wine region - particularly newly minted ones - can establish that they stand for something consistent and recognisable, they won't have any consumer brand equity and will be quickly forgotten.

Richard Halstead, operations director, wineintelligence.com