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Heritage makes a wine fine, say consumers

Published:  19 May, 2010

Heritage is the key factor for consumers when considering whether a wine is "fine" or not, according to Wine Intelligence research.

Provenance, being hand-crafted and achieving critical acclaim are the next most important considerations, ahead of the less important factors of family history and rarity.

The findings, based on research in the UK, USA, Switzerland and China, were presented at the London International Wine Fair.

The research also showed that fine wine drinkers can be split into two camps: those who buy fine wine on a regular basis (representing 12% of luxury wine consumers and 60% of value), and occasionals who maybe only venture into the fine wine category once a year. This group accounts for 88% of the fine wine market's consumers but only 40% of the value.

Wine Intelligence chief executive Lulie Halstead said: "One thing we've learned is that time is the key dimension for fine wine.

"Consumers want to feel that time has been dedicated to the vines, to the making of the wine, to how it looks. They want time to drink it. They want the space and time to cherish what they feel are very authentic wines."

Halstead said the research had not presented consumers with preconceived ideas of what constitutes fine wine, but instead asked consumers to define the category based on their own experiences and purchasing patterns.