A negociant is the French term for a wine merchant who assembles the produce of smaller growers and winemakers and sells the result under its own name.
Negociants buy everything from grapes to grape must to wines in various states of completion. In the case of grapes or must, the negociant performs virtually all the winemaking. If it buys already fermented wine in barrels or ‘en-vrac’ – basically in bulk containers, it may age the wine further, blend in other wines or simply bottle and sell it as is. The result is sold under the name of the negociant, not the name of the original grape or wine producer.
Some negociants have a recognizable house style. For example, Georges Duboeuf was notorious for using yeast that produced a pronounced banana aroma.