chapter  12
17 Pages

The Bordeaux classified growth system

A strong legacy
WithStéphane Ouvrard, Hervé Remaud, Ian Taplin

The marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine to Henry of Plantagenet in 1152 can be seen as the starting point of the Bordeaux wine trade and its eventual success. Supported by more than eight centuries of history, the Bordeaux wine industry has gained an international recognition with the 1855 classification, and structures itself nowadays around four key pillars – producers, brokers, merchants and wine institutions, which collectively are called the Bordeaux Place. On this place or market, famous wine brands are today bought and sold under a unique selling process termed en primeur. This system generates great financial support for the wine estates to develop themselves by providing a means to obtain a good price. Traditionally, accounting is seen as having a key role in price setting – something which is much less a feature with Bordeaux top fine wine as we reveal through our exploration of the en primeur system. In this original sales system that is specific to Bordeaux, accounting is of vital importance for the efficient management of cash.