Three years in Provence as major French push begins

Organisation's directors predict 'fabulous growth' from UK market

Provence Wines is bidding for a bigger slice of the UK rosé market with a three-year marketing push.

The umbrella organisation's newly-appointed international marketing director Nathalie Chassard said Provençal winemakers hope to take advantage of trends towards drier-style rosés.

Speaking at last week's France Under One Roof tasting at Lord's, Chassard said: "The directors of Provence Wines are convinced the UK will be a fabulous market from a growth point of view.

"The taste of UK consumers is getting more sophisticated. Even though the leaders of the UK rosé market are Californian, UK consumers want drier-style rosés and we are convinced we can fit into this."

The campaign is likely to focus on organic and sustainable winemaking. "There is a big organic wine presence in Provence. Because of the Mistral wind, winemakers use fewer pesticides," Chassard said.

Provence Wines has commissioned Wine Intelligence to study the UK rosé market and it will base its campaign around the findings.

The first of the results will be released at the London wine fair in May and ­complete results will be shared at Vinexpo in June.

Statistically speaking ...

Eighty per cent of wine made in Provence is rosé. Currently, 500,000 bottles of Provenc e wine are exported to the UK, which represents 2.7 per cent of total French wine exports and 0.4 per cent of the rosé market.

Provence Wines (known as the CIVP in France) represents 580 producers, 66 négociants and 95 per cent of the volume produced by the region. It was formed in 2004 when major appellations Côtes de Provence, Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence and Coteaux Varois en Provence joined forces to promote the region's wine.