Case | HBS Case Collection | June 2013 (Revised January 2016)

Château Margaux: Launching the Third Wine

by Elie Ofek and Eric E. Vogt


Château Margaux, one of only five prestigious estates in the Bordeaux Medoc wine region to have been classified as a "first-growth", is facing a host of strategic decisions in early 2013. Up until this point the estate had been selling two red wines, a first wine whose retail price often exceeded $1000 a bottle, and a second wine whose retail price often exceeded $200 a bottle. Owner Corinne Mentzelopoulos and her management team were now preparing to launch a new third wine made from the estate's production not used to make the first two. They have to decide whether the best go-to-market strategy is to sell the third wine to the local Bordeaux merchants and relinquish commercialization to them or to devise a complete marketing plan for the new wine that includes: target market selection, positioning, quantity to release, pricing, channel structure and brand name. Mentzelopoulos was considering the optimal marketing for the third wine in light of bold moves by other first-growths, such as the purchase of vineyards in the Bordeaux region, global expansion, and deviation from the centuries-old tradition of selling wine in the futures market.

Keywords: marketing strategy; new product launch; marketing plan; brand management; go to market strategy; channels of distribution; wine industry; Marketing Strategy; Distribution Channels; Product Launch; Brands and Branding; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; Food and Beverage Industry; France;


Ofek, Elie, and Eric E. Vogt. "Château Margaux: Launching the Third Wine." Harvard Business School Case 513-107, June 2013. (Revised January 2016.)