What is the En Primeurs?
The En Primeurs is an annual event organized in April by the greatest Châteaux of the Bordeaux region, notably the 1855 classified Grand Cru. The wine professionals meet to taste the wine, still in barrels, of the last vintage. This wine will be bottled only after the end of its maturation, that is 18 to 24 months later.
Where do the Primeurs come from?
The En Primeurs were created by the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux. Originally, the tradition was for the négociants to go to each estate to taste the wines and negotiate the best price. The goal was to judge the vintage still in barrels in order to predict future sales. Today it is no longer the merchants but the critics who come to criticize the vintages of the Châteaux.
What is the purpose of this event?
On the one hand, the En Primeurs benefit the merchants, because they can obtain the wines at the best price. On the other hand, they are of financial interest for the Châteaux. Indeed, throughout the year, the production of wine involves significant expenses. However, the wines matured in the cellars are a financial liability until they are bottled and marketed. The sale of their wines during the En Primeur period therefore allows them to counteract this cash flow immobilization.