Nothing removes the romance from wine quite like the word “bulk”. It conjures images of cheapskate tank kickers buying vats of acidic, flavourless plonk, and haggling for the highest volume at the lowest price. But the truth is that some of the world’s most well-known and glamorous brands are produced in bulk (you can’t sell over 1 million cases a year if you don’t!), and higher volume doesn’t necessarily have to mean lower quality.
Boutinot was founded in 1980 by Paul Boutinot. Paul was responsible for supplying the wine for his parent’s restaurant and he quickly grew tired of the limited choice of affordable, quality wines. He began going to France to source better wines directly, building relationships with growers and winemakers. This is the philosophy that drives Boutinot own production to this day; our raison d’etre.
The Boutinot Way
Perhaps it’s important to differentiate between “bulk” and “blended” wines. Rather than focusing on quantity and price point like bulk, blended wines prioritise quality and consistency, giving winemakers flexibility in terms of sourcing and variety. This flexibility enables them to better maintain the style and quality levels expected by customers and consumers.
In the words of Samantha Bailey, Boutinot’s Master Blender since 1990, when composing the Cuvée Jean-Paul 2010 vintage:
“…each individual wine is delicious, but the blend is greater than the sum of the component parts”.
This idea of “quality over quantity” has been the red thread that has tied together every Boutinot own production wine since the start and remains key to our approach today. Our focus will always be on quality and consistency, and never on finding any old wine just to hit a cost target.
We don’t sell anything we wouldn’t drink ourselves, and we’re proud of every drop.
Benefits of the Boutinot Way
The Boutinot winemaking team now includes nine winemakers, all of whom specialise in their various regions around the world. Whether they grew up in the region or have come to know it through working vintages there, their relationships with the local growers are invaluable.
This dedicated team is a huge advantage both for Boutinot and for our customers. Not being tied down to a specific plot of land each year gives us flexibility when searching for the best quality fruit. It also means that we are able to support more growers in each region.
Added to this, flexibility also means that we can develop styles of wine to suit different markets without compromising on quality. Rib Tickler Red, for example, was created with a higher residual sugar content to appeal to markets where big, bold reds need to stand up to spicy, meaty food. It has also led us to “happy accidents” like Les Oliviers Sauvignon Rolle, where a small amount of Rolle was added to a blend by mistake but brought fantastic texture to the wine which is now in its 10th vintage!
Last but by no means least, all of our own production wines undergo the same quality control tests at centralised bottling facilities in Mâcon and Castel Boglione to ensure that they are produced to the same standard. These facilities also act as one-stop-shop hubs from which all our wines are available to collect, meaning that our customers can save time and money collecting their wines with complete peace of mind about the finished product.
“The volume is pretty large, but the blend is handcrafted and individual; a typical expression of what Boutinot is all about.” – Samantha Bailey
2024 will mark the range’s 40th vintage
Redesigned in 2022 for a contemporary new look
Over 132,000 bottles sold across the range in 2022
22,000 bottles sold in the first 6 months since launch
Listed in 19 countries including Brazil, Australia, South Korea
Over 85,000 bottles sold across the range in 2022
36% average growth since launch in 2018
First bottled in 1992, the brand is now over 30 years old
Over 572,000 bottles sold across the range in 2022