Bordeaux wine officials hope that a new international advertising campaign will help the region to stem falling exports to its key markets.

Bordeaux’s regional wine body, the CIVB, said this week that it would promote the area’s wines simultaneously in the most important export markets.

Exports of Bordeaux from August 2013 to August 2014 fell by 8% in volume and 18% in value, new figures show.

Both volume and value were down in all markets for red wine, including France, although Bordeaux whites recorded a rise of 4% in value and 2% in volume. There was good news for sweet wine producers, with exports of Sauternes and other sweet wines up 3% in volume (down 1% in value).

The two most severe drops in sales came in China (down 25% in volume to 392,000 hectolitres, and 26% in value to €240 million) and the UK (down 5% in volume to 228,000 hectolitres but 43% in value to €218 million). The two countries remained, however, the two largest markets for Bordeaux by value.

‘The anti-dumping enquiry in China, plus the government anti-corruption campaign, lent a general sense of uncertainty to the French wine market last year, and as China’s main source of French wines, inevitably Bordeaux bore the brunt of it,’ said CIVB president Bernard Farges. ‘But it is worth remembering that the 2013 harvest was down 30% from average, and these figures come on the back of four strong years of growth’.

‘The advertising campaign is in line with one of the key tenets of the Bordeaux Tomorrow plan rolled out last year, to promote the €5-€20 segment of the region’s wines,’ CIVB vice-president Allan Sichel told decanter.com.

‘It aims to show the diversity and pleasure of Bordeaux wines – and we hope the good volumes of the 2014 vintage, and the fruity, rich profile of the wines so far harvested, will back the message up in the glass.’

The move is designed to get Bordeaux ‘back to the fundamentals’, said CIVB marketing director François Jumeau. ‘This is the first campaign where we are rolling out the same message across our seven key markets of France, the UK, the US, Germany, Belgium, Hong Kong and China.’

The campaign, which was created by London-based agency Isobel responsible for the recent ‘Good food would choose Bordeaux’ campaign, is set to depict illustrations that attempt to promote the diversity of Bordeaux wines.

Written by Jane Anson