Breaking out of the mould

Trade must convince consumers to opt for mid-range Burgundies, says BIVB

The biggest challenge for Burgundy wine in the UK is to convince consumers to buy middle -range wines, according to Anne Parent of interprofessional organisation BIVB.

Parent, president of the organisation's communications committee , said: "The challenge is to

convince people to try lesser-known ACs


to see Burgundy as not only Chablis or Romanée -Conti. Between these, there are a nice range of wines

for everyday occasions."

Speaking at the annual Burgundy tasting earlier this month - held at Lord's for the first time - Parent described the 2006 vintage as a "vintage of the winemaker".

"In 2006, if you did serious work sorting grapes and were careful with vinification and

extracting the cuvée, then it will be the same quality as 2005," she said.

The younger generation of Burgund y winemakers "has more motivation to improve quality", and hand-sorting of grapes was becoming more prevalent across the region, Parent said.

Sales of sparkling wine Crém ant de Bourgogne were on the increase, she said. "Crémant sales are increasing because the quality is improving. There's a lot of demand because it's fantastic value compared to Champagne."

Speaking to OLN after the tasting, independent retailer David Motion,

of London's The Winery, said he was impressed by the 2006 vintage, preferring it to 2005.

"For me, it's a more classic Burgundy vintage. I'm not a big fan of the really fruity, upfront ones, so this [2006] is much more my cup of tea, more like the 2001 and 2004 vintages."

Exports to the UK for the first half of 2007 were up 22 per cent by value and 5 per cent by volume, according to the BIVB. The UK remains the leading export market for Burgundy - 30 per cent of volumes shipped.