Burgundy in 2021: an industry debate featuring Liv-ex’s Justin Gibbs

The Burgundy 2019 En Primeur campaign is now in full swing. While some have even suggested this might be the best vintage since 1865, the Burgundy market has been faced with several challenges of late. In the past year, the region had to cope with the effects of Covid-19 on sales and the impact of US tariffs, while trying to retain its place in an ever-broadening market.

Last month, Liv-ex’s Co-founder and Sales Director Justin Gibbs attended an industry online debate on Burgundy, “How to drive the region through 2021”, organised by The Buyer and the BIVB (Bourgogne Wine Board). The webinar brought together Burgundy’s trade body and key UK importers, including Omar Raafat (fine wine director at Bibendum), Nicolas Clerc MS (wine buyer for Armit Wines) and Hugues Lepin (private client director at Wine Source).

In the webinar, the group discussed a broad range of topics including how the UK trade responded to Covid-19 and worked with producers in 2020, the rise in e-commerce, the market for the less famous appellations and the more recent focus on white wines. Liv-ex’s Gibbs gave commentary on the region from a secondary market point of view, asserting that in 2020 Burgundy had been able to sustain the interest it had built over the past ten years.

Although Liv-ex saw a slight reduction in market share by value, from 20% in 2019 to 18% in 2020, volumes held steady, suggesting that buyers were not leaving the category but considering Burgundian labels at lower price points. Gibbs said: “The lure of Bourgogne is still very much there, but they are now looking for value and lesser-known appellations.”

2020 saw a 25% increase in the number of Burgundy wines (LWIN11) traded. The number has risen 290% over the past five years.

Another theme that Gibbs discussed was ‘connectivity’ and the rise in e-commerce, which was particularly pronounced in 2020. He said the “move towards the automation of trade […] is a trend going forward,” which has benefitted the Burgundy market.

To see the full Burgundy online debate and read The Buyer’s analysis, click here.

Our annual regional report on Burgundy, available exclusively to members of Liv-ex, is coming soon. The report will examine the market environment onto which the 2019 vintage is being released and seek to identify areas for future growth in Burgundy. 

Justin Gibbs on secondary market trends in Burgundy