With the first half of 2022 already history, Harpers asked key trade figures to highlight the current challenges, ongoing trends and opportunities.
We continue our series with insights from Anne Bousquet, CEO, Co-founder and partner of Domaine Bousquet.
How ‘back to normal’ are you as a business?
I would say we are more than back to normal; we are seeing strong sales across our global markets, across all price points.
How, if at all, have drinking habits changed post-lockdown?
We saw demand for organic and sustainable wines accelerate across all our markets during lockdown, as consumers became increasingly health-conscious, and this has only continued to grow post-lockdown.
How has the first half of 2022 been when compared to the same period in pre-pandemic 2019?
Like everyone, we found the first six months of 2019 extremely challenging, but our company has seen significant growth since 2019; in total 79% in value, but especially in the United Kingdom it has been an extraordinary growth.
What were the highs and lows for your own business in the first six months of 2022?
We recently became one of only four wineries – the first outside the US – to become Regenerative Organic Certified™. We have also been testing our pioneering biofilter project to assist with water conservation, which is a big issue in Argentina. We expect it to be operational by 2023. Inflation in Argentina and global supply chain issues have been particularly challenging in 2022 thus far – inflation effects the entirety of our business operations but especially dry goods and grapes, and supply chain issues both in obtaining dry goods and then the delays in transport have been very substantial to all countries.
What, currently, are the biggest challenges for the trade in general?
Prioritising sustainability and keeping this front and centre of all aspects of the wine trade, from viticulture and winemaking to logistics and sales is made even harder when dealing with Global supply chain issues.
What are your priorities and predictions business-wise for the second half of 2022?
Organic Argentine Malbec remains Domaine Bousquet’s largest selling category of wine in the UK with listings in the multiples, specialist retailers and we are increasing our focus on the on-trade. We have just had a selection of our wines listed at Gaucho Grill, including by-the-glass.
What will the focus be on with regard to your portfolio (and any updates) and why?
Our flagship varietal is Malbec, but we are seeing increased interest in Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc – both are which are well suited to Argentina’s vineyards at altitude.
For you, what are the most significant emerging trends in the wine & spirits worlds?
The significant uptick in organic wines, in vegan wines, and in wines with sustainable credentials.
What innovations in the drinks world do you believe will have the most impact going forward?
Sustainable packaging is going to be a key innovation, particularly bag-in-box, lighter glass bottles, as well as bottling in the UK; very visible innovations which resonate particularly well with the customer.
Lastly, if you could make one change in legislation/red tape/tax tomorrow, what would you choose?
Addressing Argentine inflation supply chain issues and shipping delays would make business much more efficient!
France, Spain or Italy?
I would have to go for my homeland, France.
USA, Oz or South Africa?
Cocktails or slow sipping spirit?
Wine cocktails! Our Dolce Malbec Cocktail is my favourite!
English fizz or Champagne?
Champagne or our Domaine Bousquet Organic Argentine Méthode Traditionelle Rosé Brut.
Go-to drink to watch with the tennis / football / rugby?
Rosé all day!
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