In June 2019, at the Paris Vinexpo trade show, a journalist I was presenting the WI&NE association conveyed his understanding by saying: “Yes, you are a network of experts!” It pains me to admit that this was not the first time I heard the WI&NE association reduced to the sole notion of a network. But it seems I could not clearly articulate the purpose of WI&NE.
Fortunately, I have a time-tested habit when it comes to clarifying my thoughts. I go for an early morning walk in the vineyards when the mist is still low on my feet, with my dog Opus tagging along. I let my mind drift, neither thinking about the problem nor the solution. Instead, I walk, one step leading the next, trusting that the misty veil gradually lifting over the vines will give way to a clearer vision both in the countryside and in my mind. This mind-freeing strategy, once again, did the trick.
Imagine a foreign investor, Chinese or American, located thousands of kilometers from France who wishes to invest tens of millions of euros (maybe even hundreds!) in a Bordeaux or Provence property. The stakes are incredibly high! So how can this investor surround himself with the necessary experts and be confident they will not lack integrity? Can he only identify the critical areas of expertise required to guarantee the success of his wine venture?
Buying a vineyard is not merely about acquiring a beautiful property surrounded by vines to host friends, clients or partners. It is, first and foremost, about investing in a business operation that meets particular objectives and then being able to manage it over the long term.
So how is an association a particularly suitable and reassuring response for viticultural land investors and owners? Let me give you an analogy. Just as a straightforward wine expresses its advertised vintage characteristics, an association represents its advertised values. These values and the undertaken actions differentiate WI&NE from a simple business network.
WI&NE is a collective force of men and women united by an ethical charter established on four central values: probity, security, availability and confidentiality. Our joint ambition is to bring the best support to our interlocutors and contribute to developing good practices in our sector.
France counts many networks of experts, but the WI&NE association is unique.
In 2014, four specialists in transfers, disposals, and acquisitions of vineyards and wineries in the Bordeaux region created the first French association of wine experts: WI&NE. The objective was to bring together recognized wine-related experts to secure investment projects and provide solutions to the management issues of wine estate owners.
Thought as a “toolbox”, owners and investors can “pick” the skills they need or use all the “tools” at their disposal to carry out their wine business venture, from its definition to its completion.
By signing the Ethical Charter, each new member rallies around the same founding values. It is intended to inspire their actions and convey WI&NE’s image and purpose to its clients, partners and suppliers in the wine industry.Its International Openness
One of WI&NE’s driving forces is its international openness based on excellent knowledge of the market in three languages: French, English, and Chinese.
Probity: WI&NE systematically presents two competent experts to ensure the client’s freedom of choice according to his needs and requirements.
Security: Whether for transactional or managerial expertise, WI&NE is committed to a rigorous approach with its clients to guarantee investment relevance and profitability.
Availability: A fundamental value of WI&NE’s distinction, every expert member of the association must make themselves available to respond speedily to a client.
Confidentiality: Given the stakes involved for our clients, WI&NE guarantees absolute discretion before, during and after project completion.
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