UK, July 2023

HARPERS | Changyu challenges Moët & Chandon for world’s most valuable wine brand By James Bayley

Château Changyu, China’s oldest and largest wine producer, is second only to Moët & Chandon as the world’s most valuable wine brand.

Every year, leading brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance publishes over 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries, including the top 15 most valuable Champagne & Wine brands.

Unsurprisingly, Moët & Chandon maintained the number one spot for the third consecutive year, valued at $1.3bn (-10%) despite a fall in Champagne brand values. The company owns 1,190ha of vineyards and produces approximately 38m bottles of Champagne a year.

Changyu is a wine brand very much on the up. What it lacks in notoriety, particularly in the western world, it more than makes up for in size and stature in the Asian market. The company has developed more than 20,000ha of vineyards, covering one-quarter of the grape-growing areas in China. Changyu’s total production is estimated to be 100m wine bottles and 50m brandy annually, making it a market leader in not only China but all of Asia.

In 2013, 15th-generation Austrian winemaker Lenz Moser came on board and launched Chateau Changyu Moser XV. Since then, the estate has gone full steam ahead into the international market.

Climbing two positions, Changyu’s brand value soared to $1.2bn in 2022 (+33%). 

Commenting on Changyu’s increasingly global appeal, Lenz Maria Moser (pictured), winemaker, Chateau Changyu Moser XV told Harpers: “I can only speak about Changyu Moser XV, the Ningxia Chateau of Changyu – which I have the honour of helping to get to global appeal under our mantra, ‘producing wines belonging in the company of the worlds finest’ – which we can prove in numerous tastings around the world – benchmarking with the best of china and also with great fine wines from the world, for instance, Ornellaia, Opus, One, Chateau Lafite and more.

“We are represented in more than 40 countries around the world with a strong home base in China – the Changyu Moser XV label does circa 500,000 bottles per year under my supervision as the chief winemaker, with an export ratio of 20% this year – hoping to go on par with the Chinese market again in the next three years.”

Changyu is also the world’s strongest Wine & Champagne brand according to Brand Finance’s rating metric. The research takes into consideration marketing investment, stakeholder equity and business performance. Compliant with ISO 20671, Brand Finance’s assessment of stakeholder equity incorporates original market research data from over 100,000 respondents in 38 countries and across 31 sectors. The China-based brand boasts three consecutive years of brand strength growth and was awarded a AAA- rating this year by Brand Finance.

Henry Farr, associate director at Brand Finance said: “Within the Wine & Champagnes sector, wines have performed better in terms of brand value growth. High-end Champagnes have taken a hit. Difficult growing conditions, reduced availability and price hikes have steered some consumers towards lower-end sparkling wines as an alternative. For those less affected by harsher financial situations, this could be due to not wanting to appear vulgar or ostentatious by indulging in luxury products when others are struggling with the rising costs of living.”

Meanwhile, Penfolds is the fastest-growing Wine & Champagne brand, up 48% to $659m. The Australian-based brand is also the category’s second strongest, with a BSI of 81.6 out of 100. Penfold’s brand strength boasts a 19-point increase since last year and has earned the brand a corresponding AAA- rating.

By embracing new technologies and innovation, Penfolds has streamlined its consumer-centric approach. This includes the brand’s launch of its 2022 wine collection which, for the first time, expanded beyond Australian-made wines. The collection included French and Californian wines as part of the brand’s efforts to enhance global brand awareness and market share, resulting in improved brand value and strength. This has also captured Penfolds’ wider sustainability plan, as the collection aimed to alleviate pressures on regions with harsher climates and reduced crop yields, earning it a Sustainability Perceptions Score of 4.59 out of 10, positioning the brand third in the ranking based on this metric.

To see the full Brand Finance Alcoholic Drinks 2023 report click here.

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