Fume Blanc. A Story of Brilliant Marketing

I heard a story while I was in Napa a couple years ago. My friend Rhoda tells the story of how Mondavi "invented" the Fume blanc grape.

I decided to share this here with you because there's a bit of a marketing lesson here. Sometimes success depends not just on the quality of the product but on the perception of it.

There is no such thing as Fume Blanc, that's just a beautiful marketing ploy to sell more wine.Click To Tweet

Some accounts say that Mondavi used the Fume blanc name instead of Sauvignon blanc because Sauvignon blanc had a muddied reputation. Other stories say that Fume blanc was created to reflect a variation of the traditional Sauvignon blanc wine.

Photo of a fume blanc bottle from Ferrari Carano
Ferrari Carano "Fumé Blanc" -- coincidentally one of my favorite wines during that trip.
Photo by nickboos

Whether Rhonda in the video or the other versions of events is correct, the fact is that Fume blanc didn't exist before Mondavi decided to sell this wine. Fumé Blanc was just created to change the perception of an existing product to make more sales.

That's brilliant marketing!

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