Whose Brand is it Anyway?
What’s in a brand? The intangibles of customer loyalty, recognition and known quality; something rather important in the world of wine.
So when the London-based and aptly named Renegade Urban Winery released one of their latest wines and called it ‘Cristal’, the folks over at the famed French Champagne house Louis Roederer, who produce ‘Crystal Champagne’, had a few problems.
Crystal champagne has a roughly 60/40 split of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and was developed in 1876 for Tsar Alexander II. Since then it has become one of the most recognised premium champagnes around the world, in no small part thanks to the works of the Notorious B.I.G, Fifty Cent and other US rappers. With a price tag generally north of £250, it can be hard to miss. The lawyers representing Louis Roederer are nevertheless arguing that the folks at Renegade are “passing off’ their wine and potentially damaging their long built reputation.
The wine from Renegade, on the other hand, is a pink pet nat made from croatina grapes, that features the face of ‘Crystal’, a former London student from Hong Kong who agreed to be involved in the project. As a result of the complaint there has been rather widespread reporting on the incident, which no doubt the London based team are enjoying.
Some may be wondering what’s all the fuss about, but with Renegade’s tag line being ‘breaking the rules, one bottle at a time’, this may be a not-so-classic mix-up.
I, for one, find it quite hard to tell the two apart and am hoping that at the next dinner party I host, so too will my guests.