Sun, Nov 25, 2012 - Page 14 News List

French wines voyage to brave New World

The relaxing of US labeling regulations has opened the gates for traditional French winemakers anxious to battle New World wines for a piece of the country’s US$30bn market

By Suzanne Mustacich  /  AFP, BORDEAUX, France

Smaller operators see an opportunity to attack specific export markets with tailored products.

“The Chinese always want exclusivity,” Philippe Carrant of Wines Overland said. “We’re selling our Vin de France private brands Lafleur Gloria in China for exclusive distribution.”

In Sweden, Les Domaines Auriol won a contract with the state monopoly for 1 million hectoliters of organic wine.

“That was not easy. We had to go to 80 growers,” Montes said. “We couldn’t have done it without the Vin de France label.”

Quality also comes into play.

“Vin de France was created for the big operators, but for us, a small operator, it’s given us the opportunity to create a high-quality brand wine,” Roure said. “Our idea is not to take the basic wine from each region, but some of the best — the best of what France can do. This is what we’ve done with Prickly French.”

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