The Wine Sign: Impacts on the Wine Business

Sep 16, 2010 8 Comments by

Imagine a traditional Chateau in the Bordeaux vineyard.  Now, build a contemporary atmosphere around it, decorate it with modern art, make a big shop with 1001 wines from around the world, install a tasting temple where customers can discover their wine signs, create a “bistronomic” restaurant which provides seasonal food, build an amphitheatre, organize concerts, exhibitions, and shows. This is La Winery recipe, the first winery in France to introduce wine tourism.

Nowadays, for wine consumers who want to buy wine, the most difficult thing to do is to choose a wine that fits their needs and taste buds, but in order to do so, they need to taste it. This is a daunting task, it could take an entire lifetime to taste each and every one of them, but of course, there are shortcuts. Most people probably know if they prefer red wines or white wines. They maybe even know whether they like red wines with lots of tannins or not.  Of course, these criteria help a lot with the selection of wine but others classifications are definitely welcome. Here is a brief description of the Wine Sign concept and an analysis on the positive impacts it has on wine business.

The Wine Sign: A new concept that is revolutionizing the wine world:

La Winery revisits the art of wine-tasting, putting the emphasis on visitors. For the very first time, they can discover their own tastes and the wines that suit them best, thanks to an exclusive event: the Wine Sign.

How does it work? During a session in which visitors taste six wines of very different styles, participants are invited to express what they feel using an electronic panel. The information is then analyzed by an exclusive computer program which determines the oenological profile of each visitor. For example, a visitor may turn out to be “Gourmet”, “Trendy”, “Refined” or “Adventurous”. Each participant leaves the tasting room with a personalized cellar book, adapted to his or her wine sign and budget.

Based on the individual taste of participants – rather than the label or reputation of the bottle – the Wine Sign is a good illustration of the ambition of La Winery: to become a guide to help the public make the right choice when they buy wines.

find out your wine sign

The Wine Sign Concepts impacts marketing and sales:

The Wine Sign concept could be the future tool that wine bars use to attract more people to wine tastings.

Recently, Ari and I attended our first Wine Sign tasting in Shanghai.  Wine bars offering wine tastings are numerous in Shanghai, but differentiation and innovation are essential. The Napa valley bar has understood this concept. By using the Wine Sign concept its wine tasting appears more professional yet convivial. Moreover, customers have direct access to 6 wines, each representing a different wine family.  This presents a global vision of all the wines and its different classifications. They can learn more about themselves by knowing what kind of wine they like and what wine sign they are. Eventually, when a customer comes back to have dinner at a wine bar, which is operating under the wine sign concept, they can order according to their wine sign and get better advice that suits their preferences…

The Wine Sign concept gives “experientialisation” to the wine consumption.

“Experientialisation” is a trendy marketing concept which describes the action of making a purchase as an experience. The goal is to provide the consumer an unforgettable experience by creating a world around the product, by involving him into this world.

Thanks to the Wine Sign concept, wine bars and shops can build a new community of wine lovers. They would provide them a wine identity, which is really difficult to have as a beginner. Suddenly, imagine all novice wine lovers can now identify themselves in terms of wine tastes.  This new concept has the advantage of bringing wine consumers closer to the products by involving them in the new wine world. It helps them familiarize with the wine they are supposed to like. Education is an important part of this process because once the wine consumer knows their wine sign; they feel part of the wine world, and want to know more it.

The Wine Sign concept: a powerful hidden consumer market survey?

“What is your Wine Sign?” This could be the question the wine sellers will ask to their customers… Imagine how simple it would be to provide advice and suggestions to customers if you know their wine sign. Novice wine lovers would jump at the opportunity to do the wine sign tasting. They would pay to be classified; they would pay to participate in consumer market surveys. This would lead to a better understanding of the wine consumer, more targeted selling, and ultimately better sales.  This is particularly important for wine importers who are interested in increasing their presence in China.  With wine only in its early stages in China, Wine Sign can help companies reduce the costs of expanding to an unknown market by properly assessing the local tastes and preferences.

This growing Wine Sign concept will certainly seduce all levels of wine lovers as well as wine marketers/sellers.

Wine consumption Side Marketing sales Side
Wine Sign concept Creation of a new wine world= ”experientialisation”
Enjoying finding out one’s Wine Sign Initiating ritual to involve the wine consumer in this new world
Finding out one’s Wine Sign = education Better sales
To know one’s wine sign better segmentation-better understanding of the wine market
To know one’s wine sign Better advice – better sales

If you want to sell wine to the Chinese market, you need to educate them and guide them in their purchases. You need also to make the wine an attractive product by creating a world around it. This is why I think this new concept will suit the Chinese market and help to increase wine consumption.

Lucas Botebol for Zhongguo Wine


-More information on

-The Napa Wine Bar and Kitchen is the first wine bar in Shanghai to use the Wine Sign concept:

6 wines to taste
Pierre Raoux, China Sales Representative
The personalized cellar book
News, Wine Bars & Wine Shops, Wine Education in China

About the author

The author didnt add any Information to his profile yet

8 Responses to “The Wine Sign: Impacts on the Wine Business”

  1. Flore says:

    Interesting concept. Let’s hope it won’t confine consumer in a too particular wine style, which could become boring for him!

  2. Georges says:

    L’originalité de ce concept tient à ce qu’il ne vante pas une marque ou un cru, mais qu’il apporte un outil au consommateur! Bravo pour cette inovation

  3. Georges says:

    Trouver le vin qui nous convient est plus important que de se fier à son prix.

  4. Napa Wine Bar and Kitchen says:

    […] Huser for inviting us to an unforgettable wine tasting. We had the chance to attend the first “wine sign” experience available in Shanghai. After tasting 6 different wines and grading them from 1 for “I love this […]

  5. John says:

    interesting concept, the Wine Sign gonna help wines customers for the futur…

  6. The Advantages of the International Supermarket Channel says:

    […] -The Wine Sign: Impacts on the Wine Business […]

  7. Paul says:

    Chinese people might be interested by this concept because today they need tools to choose a wine,
    Usefull to define your wine taste and no more deception with this stuff when you buy a bottle and spend 50box…


  8. Chinese Acquisition in Bordeaux – COFCO acquires Château de Viaud | Zhongguo Wine says:

    […] seller, Philippe Raoux, also known for his negoce activity in Bordeaux and creator of the wine sign, has contributed to shape the today’s wine world. Owner of several vineyards in Bordeaux, […]

Leave a Reply