Hold on to your handbags, the Louis Vuitton family is launching a new range of wines. The renowned French family of fashion has diversified its portfolio with the release of its “XLV” wines. Named after Xavier-Louis Vuitton, a fifth generation Vuitton who owns a wine estate in Vaucluse, the wines have been specifically made to cash in on growing wine demand in China.
The move makes a lot of financial sense for the Vuitton family as it parlays name recognition into market placement in a growing wine consuming country. Indeed, the Chinese have shown quite an affinity for wine, especially the esteemed wines of France. And with over one billion possible consumers, XLV is undoubtedly quite optimistic for revenue projections.
Yet, the move provides an interesting dichotomy between tradition and market analysis. XLV (which is technically not associated with the Luis Vuitton brand or its ownership company LVMH) are wines made from grapes grown in some of the world’s oldest winegrowing regions but made in a style to appease modern Chinese palates. The regions of Bordeaux, the Rhone Valley, and Champagne, all with complex histories and traditions, provide the grapes for the XLV wines. Yet, many of the winemaking traditions are eschewed to appease Chinese palates, found to be more attracted to fruit forward wines with less prominent tannins by XLV’s focused market research.
XLV wines have hit the Hong Kong market, seen as the hub of the Asian wine trade, with bottles priced from $45-315. It may only be a matter of time until we see wine-handbag-sunglasses-book combo packs to fully shroud oneself in luxurious style. But I suppose style is simply a matter of taste. The Chinese will have to let us know what Louis Vuitton is like on the palate.