What is a Negociant?

Louis Jadot Negociant

Négociant [Nay-hohs-yahng] is a term that gets thrown around a lot, but not too many people really know the true meaning of the word.

French in origin, a négociant is a word used to describe someone who buys their raw materials i.e. grapes or wine, and then produce, bottle and market it under their own label.

Sometimes, such as in the label in the photo, you’ll see négociant-éleveur which really just means that the négociant is improving the actual wine that they have purchased, either through aging or blending etc.

Négociants have different levels of involvement depending on the producer. Some will handle everything from buying the actual grapes and then resume normal winemaking operations from there. Others will buy the already fermented wine and age, blend (if they choose), bottle, market and sell.

Négociants came about through the high cost of the equipment and great deal of expertise necessary to make wine, and also to access the necessary channels of marketing the wine once they made it.

Some of the more well-known négociants include, Georges Duboeuf, Louis Jadot and Joseph Drouhin.

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