Independent French producers target terroir-loving UK

04 February, 2014

Independent French winegrowers have identified the UK as a market where consumers are moving towards premium, terroir-driven wines and they aim to capitalise on the trend.

More than 80 Gallic producers will be in London on Thursday to target UK retailers at the French Independent Winegrowers trade fair at the Royal Horticultural Halls.

The body’s president Michael Issaly said: “The UK market is essential for the Independent Winegrowers of France and French wines in general.

“Indeed, the United Kingdom is the leading importer of wine in value in the world and consumption has been increasing for the past 35 years.

“As the current consumer drinking trend is to move towards more quality terroir wines, independent winemakers have an opportunity to gain market share. In addition, independent winegrowers are the only ones who can guarantee buyers and consumers the full traceability of their products.”

All French wine regions are represented at the tasting — Alsace, Provence and Corsica, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Beaujolais, Champagne, Cognac, Savoie, Languedoc-Roussillon, the South West, the Loire Valley, and the Rhône Valley.

But the organization aims to present an event with a “personal feel” because “all of the exhibitors bring with them an intimate knowledge of their region of production and its unique characteristics”.

Issaly added: “Visitors will be able to discover more than 400 wines from 80 producers from 11 different French wine regions.

“Visitors will be able to taste AOP and IGP wines, red, white, rosé, sparkling and spirits The offer is so vast that they will definitely find wines that suit the need of their customers.
“They will discover the wines alongside the personalities of the people who make them. It will be a fun and friendly occasion.”

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Talking terroir

When Bordeaux was in fashion, it seemed almost logical that we should fetishise winemakers. Here were people responsible for brilliant acts of blending, across large estates and multiple grape varieties, including superstars such as cabernet sauvignon and merlot. These days, fashion has moved on and pinot noir is ascendant. As a result, the star of the winemaker has fallen and we find ourselves following a new star in the sky: terroir.

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