Mark Aselstine
July 3, 2014 | Mark Aselstine

What is a Negociant?

We'll include this in our section about wine jargon, but we've had quite a number of customers ask about how wine is actually being made in Napa Valley and elsewhere. Much to the chagrin of many winemakers, the idea of a Negociant is not only alive and well in California, but it is growing.

How's it going? This is Mark Aselstine with Uncorked Ventures. One of that's come up a few times over the last couple of days is the term "negociant." First -- yes, it's French and it means "merchant" in France. And in California and especially in Napa Valley, it might be the dirtiest word around. 

So, the theory on a negociant is, it's somebody who buys either grapes or even more accurately bulk juice; assembles it, usually with the help of a winemaker; and then releases it under their own label. 

Cameron Hughes, is a great example of somebody who produces some pretty darned good wine at a really fair price, using the tactic. It's something that we're starting to see more. And it's really one that starts to blur the line between what is a bulk wine, and what is a winery wine.

So, that's what a negociant is. There are a few big ones, and there's more on the way. Thanks again.


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