French term for merchant, trader or trading house. Although it applies to products of all kinds, it is most commonly used for wine merchants who buy grapes, must or wine, process them and then also market them themselves. In Bordeaux in particular, négociants have a very long history dating back to the 12th century (see under Bordeaux wine trade). Today there are around 400 négociants in the Bordeaux region, marketing 70% of Bordeaux wines either directly to the end consumer or to resellers. Many of these companies have been family-owned for many generations or are subsidiaries of large international wine multinationals or beverage companies.
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