Think France to provide buyers with vital content and exciting wines

Think France is poised to become the ultimate one-stop shop for all French wine buyers bidding to maximise sales in this vital category.

It expands upon our successful one-day spirits events – Think Gin, Think Rum and Think Whisky – in order to educate and inspire anyone putting together a French wine range.

We have teamed up with sister title Harpers and Anne Burchett, a veritable doyenne of the French wine industry, to launch the event, which takes place on March 26 in central London.

Trade partners include generic bodies covering Bordeaux, the Languedoc, the Loire and Cahors and producers such as Gerard Bertrand, Boisset and Bouvet Ladubay, while expert presenters such as Greg Sherwood MW and Rebecca Gibb MW will be on hand to host masterclasses.

We caught up with Burchett to find out more about the plans for the event:

Why did you decide to launch Think France?

France is one of the major wine suppliers to the UK, both in terms of market share – as it remains the leading country or origin for the on-trade – and in terms of image, as it produces more iconic wines than any other wine-producing country. Yet there wasn’t any professional event delivering both content and tasting experience, solely dedicated to the whole of France, in the British wine calendar. Think France, a one-day event brimming with content and exciting wines to taste, plugs that gap handsomely.

Why should buyers attend?

France is an incredibly diverse country in terms of wines, maybe the most diverse one worldwide. Buyers of French wines will be able to explore this diversity at Think France in a very time-efficient manner, yet without any pressure, as this is a human scale event with a limited number of partners and attendees, all of which are vetted for their relevance to the event. Think France partners and sponsors cover the whole of France yet have been tasked with presenting compact ranges at the event. The wines on show will include well known benchmarks for the French wine offer as well as new and undiscovered wines. The various masterclasses will allow buyers to explore the French offer whereas the debate will highlight five key opportunities for French wines in the UK, with well-respected and knowledgeable speakers.

Why is having a strong French wine range crucial for retailers that want to thrive in 2019?

French wines are aspirational for British consumers and their diversity allows retailers to create and retain essential and strong points of difference in their ranges. French wines offer huge versatility and variety to buyers and consumers alike. For independent wine merchants, French wines are brilliant wines to hand-sell with lots of human stories behind the wines.

What are some of the highlights that visitors can look forward to at Think France?

Three days before B-day, we’ll have Julie Poirot from the French Embassy giving attendees the definite French position on Brexit. The main debate will tackle the five key opportunities for French wines in the UK market. The masterclasses will provide unique insight in specific areas of the French offer and the wines on our partners’ tables will be a carefully curated selection of what France can bring to play in the uniquely competitive yet exciting British market.

Why is it important for buyers and suppliers and others in the industry to meet up and share best practice?

No man is an island. Fresh ideas, debates, discussions, even controversial ones open new vistas in life as well as in business. We’re all caught up in the daily grind but it is imperative to pause and give oneself time to think every now and again in order to remain on top of one’s game. When it comes to wine and particularly to French wines, there is always something new to learn and discover and Think France aims to deliver an unparalleled amount of rich content and tasting experiences.

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