Well, you’ve at least heard the term from us a number of times, if no where else, as that’s what Cam is.
But what does it mean?
A “Négociant” is someone who buys wine from someone else and labels it under their own label.
It’s a title for a person who functions on industry surplus, allowing higher-end wineries to remain “exclusive” or “hard to acquire” – guaranteed, even the most sought after wines have surplus years, and they need to get that extra juice off because it would destroy their model if all of a sudden an allocation only winery fetching top dollar due to limited supply happens to have an extra couple hundred or thousand cases.
The root of the word comes from the French word for “shipper” and while widely established as a function of the wine world throughout Europe, not many like Cam exist in the US.
Next time you’re in your wine aisle or shop, look for Louis Jadot. He’s one of the most famous and recognizable French négociants, essentially, he’s the Cam of Burgundy.