Château Brown, a Pessac-Léognan grand cru, is now the most recent among many Bordeaux estates that are bringing QR codes into the mainstream for wine marketing, as it has added one of the two dimensional barcodes to its labels.
Beyond the autumn 2012 bottles themselves, the QR codes are also being added advertising materials that are being distributed now; particularly for the Château Brown 2011 white and 2010 red.
The goal of using this technology is to allow consumers to obtain quick and easy access to a great deal more information than would be available on advertising materials and bottle labels. This includes additional facts about the history of the estate and information about the wines themselves.
The technology was first implemented in November 2011 by another estate’s grand cru, Château Pichon Longueville Baron. The materials on the mini-site to which smartphone users will be redirected when they scan the code will be available in both English and French.
Jean Christophe Mau, the manager of Château Brown, said that he felt that this effort is “a new way of talking about our wines”. He noted that he believes that the estates in the region must be the “trendsetters” with these new forms of technology for communicating with consumers, as it provides a significant amount of additional ability to express the level of care that goes into the process of making the wines over what is possible on the back labels.
Though only just under half of the mobile-using population currently has a smartphone capable of scanning the codes, these devices are rapidly increasing their share of the market, and the wine industry appears to be one of those who intend to be ready for it.