Château Margaux: Serving Up the Third Wine
In fall 2019, Corinne Mentzelopoulos, owner of the famous first-growth Ch teau Margaux, is pondering a series of decisions with respect to the chateau's third wine. Margaux du Ch teau Marguax, as this wine was called, was launched in 2013 with a particular goal in mind and with a well defined go-to-market strategy. Six years later, Mentzolopoulos and her management team were evaluating the wine's performance against the original goal and re-examining the launch choices made. In particular, they were debating whether to raise the wholesale price, and if so by how much; which new countries to enter and which new deals to pursue, given that recent moves with respect to the ch teau's second wine resulted in more production capacity for the third wine; what options were viable to increase third wine production even further (with implications for product quality); and what the best channel arrangements were going forward. Mentzelopoulos was mulling over other issues as well, such as whether to follow recent actions by the other first-growths, how to contend with broader societal trends (e.g., organic food and environmental concerns), and the succession plan for managing the estate when she stepped down. The case allows for rich discussions on adjusting marketing strategy (in particular target market to serve), re-thinking go-to-market plans (in particular pricing and channels), managing a product line, and constructing a brand architecture (with themes around brand dilution).