Branding development in wine product
How to define OEM Wine
OEM or “Original Equipment Manufacturer” refers to companies who are manufacturing parts or products that can be purchased and rebranded by other companies. A company’s wish to outsource the manufacture of it’s product is often related to economies of scale reflexions which indeed will allow it to build its own brands without owning production facilities. Outsourcing the production of their OEM French wine brands will ensure companies to obtain quality and up-to-date French OEM wine at competitive prices.
French OEM wine
French winemakers or French wineries can choose to dedicate an amount of their vinified production to the uses of distribution companies or others wine merchants. An OEM French wine “manufacturer” can be chosen by French wine merchants or abroad distributors according to different outputs: wine quality, origin, price, ect… Outsourcing wine production to French wine specialists has allowed wine distributors and wine retails group to develop renowned French wine OEM brands using different French wine quality and origin. Those wine “manufacturer” are producing efficiently and are also well aware of novelties and innovations in wine bottling system.
For wine merchants and distributors buying and rebranding, French OEM wines show many advantages. It allows them to spend more time on marketing high quality French wine at a very competitive price as they are produced by specialist who have the capability to deal with high production volume.
Introduction to French OEM Wine
French regulation on labelling
The French wine regulation includes numerous mentions which were created to classify wines according to their quality. It is mandatory that these mentions appear clearly on wine labels. This classification system can also be seen on the top of every wine caps in the French market through the CDR seal. This coloured seal suggests the wine quality and also help to understand the geographical origin of the wine. We can also find these mention of origin on rebranded French OEM Wine labels.
Why such a classification system?
This mention of origin classification system has been incorporated in order to protect local know-how, and also to ensure wine quality and regional wine characteristic to customers. It gathers several mentions related to productions area and wine quality. In French wine, the designation of origin is known through the use of AOP (Appellation d’Origine Protégée) and IGP (Indication Géographique Protégée) mentions. Whereas, French wine without any geographical designation are grouped under the VDF mention (Vin de France). However, a fourth nomination exists for wine without a national designation. It’s named VCE (Vin de la Communaute Europeenne) and concern wines blended from grapes coming from various European countries. French OEM wine can also be made from AOP or IGP wine. It will depend on the will of the French wine supplier to rebrand AOP or IGP wine.
Differences in French wine quality(VCE>VDF>IGP>AOC)
The wine classification in France helped to improve the quality of the wine and have given solid cause in fighting fraud thanks to strict and mandatory specifications on production. Winemakers have to meet those specifications if they want to benefit from the appellation name. Those specifications are related to geographic location, yields process, grape varieties used, bottle/oak ageing, wine making process and viticulture care.
Designation of origin AOP
French OEM wines displaying the mention AOP are the OEM wines that require the most stringent production conditions. It is very often related to local know-how.
French OEM IGP wines benefit from more flexible production criteria and wider area with less restrictive rules. Just like AOP, IGP is an official European sign of quality giving value to the Terroir and the production specificities related to a geographical area.
National and European Designations
In fact, the notion of « Terroir » is the reason that constitutes the very basis of the concept of appellation. Which means VDF and VCE relate to other criteria. VDF OEM wine are basically OEM wines that have not been produced within any AOP/IGP, or produced by winemaker who do not match the specification of the appellation and therefore are declassified.
OEM wine owning the VCE mention « Wine of the European Community » are wines made within the European union that are not produced and bottled in a single country.
How to choose a French wine producer with competitive prices
AOP OEM wine have to match more specifications and appear as more respectful of the Terroir authenticity. In the other hand, even though this denomination remains valuable indications for consumers, they are not complete enough to evaluate the quality of a wine. Some French winemaker might decide to use other grapes variety or blend rather than the one allowed in the French AOP specification. Then the French Classification isn’t good enough to judge the quality of a wine. Getting support from wine expert to select the good French OEM wine at the right price remains necessary to develop a brand and avoid mistakes.
OEM Wines in Spain
Introduction to Spanish OEM wine
As for French wine, the different wine qualities of Spanish wines are classified according to their geographical origin. The regional origin of a wine made in Spain can also be identified on its label through different mentions. The Spanish classification system looks alike the French wine classification system, but can be substantially differentiated. Indeed, wine qualities of Spanish wine are ranked according to further explicit criteria surpassing their regional origin. A second classification based on the ageing period of wines has been implemented to differentiate wines thought the quality of their ageing.
Quality references for Spanish wines
Designation of origin
We can identify several wine qualities in Spain according to their respective denomination. Wines displaying the mention Vino de Mesa are wines made through different grapes coming from various locations in Spain. They are then not able to display any designation of regional origin as they didn’t reach appellations specifications. Vino de la Tierra wines are the Spanish equivalent of the French IGP appellation. They are produced within a defined geographical origin and made following determined specification. These specifications are less strict than for the D.O denomination (Denominacion de Origen) and the defined geographical area related to VDT wine is also less exclusive. D.O Spanish wines are the direct equivalent to AOP French wines. However, a last mention known as D.O.C for Denomination de Origen Calificada has been created to describe superior D.O wine. This last mention is the strictest and only concern two wine region: Rioja wine since 1991 and wine made within the Priorato since 2000.
The ageing period classification is based on the ageing level of wines. If the first classification allows to identify wine’s regional origin and help to ensure the authenticity of regional products, the second classification allows to evaluate the wine quality through it’s ageing. Wines which are bottled directly after their winemaking are grouped into the mention Vino Joven, which is the lowest denomination in term of ageing.
Ageing period for upper-level designation
The following mentions concerns Spanish wine which were aged few years in oak barrels. Vino roble are wines that spends at least 4 months in an oak barrel before being bottled. They are released on the market after their second year of ageing.
Vino Crianza needs at least 6 months of oak ageing on a total of 2 years before their being commercialized. Wine produced under the specification of the DO Ribera del Duero and DO Rioja are required to spend 12 months in oak barrel to get the Crianza denomination. The ageing period could then vary in function of the specifications imposed to regional origin designation. Reserva wines are aged in oak at least 12 months and need 3 years of total ageing before being sold. Gran Reserva wine mention only concern exceptional vintage and is the longest specifications on ageing time. To receive this mention wine have to follow 5 years of ageing, including a minimum of 18 months in oak barrel.
Ageing classification remains equivalent for Spanish white wine, even if the ageing time specifications are slightly reduced in order to release younger and fruitier wine.
How to choose a competitive Spanish wine producer
These classifications based on wine’s geographical origin coupled with the ageing period evaluation brings complexity to the sourcing and selection of Spanish wine and producer. Prices and wine qualities can appear complex to correlates. Some wine region and winemakers are following highly competitive business models and can sometimes use around 45 different wine grapes for their various creations. It is then crucial to be informed enough to dig up qualitative and competitive wines.