Sun shines on Languedoc-Roussillon

13th June, 2014 by Gabriel Stone

The Languedoc-Roussillon region is benefiting from a good 2013 vintage combined with relatively stable prices and a steady uplift in export focus that has seen producers adapt their style to market demand.

Languedoc Roussillon“The Languedoc has been our main focus for the last 12 months,” reported Andy Poxon, UK independent wholesale manager for Les Grands Chais de France.

Speaking to the drinks business at the annual Sud de France trade tasting in London this week, Poxon explained: “It’s because the wines provide great value for money and the prices are more or less stable so that helps.”

More generally, he added: “There’s been a general upturn in the UK for French wine. People are just looking for classic varieties done with a bit more finesse.”

Les Grands Chais now has 25 properties spread around south-west, as well as partnerships with a number of co-operatives such as Mont Tauch, Muscat St Jean de Minervois and Rocbere.

“What we have learned is that you can no longer make wines with a large amount of tannin,” commented Poxon, pointing to the recent UK on-trade launch of Malbec called Parlez-Vous, created in tandem with Mont Tauch. “It’s a really soft Malbec and it’s taken off because it’s really easy drinking,” he observed.

While 2013 was a challenging year for many regions of France, in the Languedoc-Roussillon producers were more upbeat about the vintage. “It’s the best year for many, many years,” reported Sophie Cleto, export manager for Clos Sorian. “We had just the right amount of sun and rain and no disease.”

Clos Sorian is relatively new venture near Sète that was established in 2007 by Florent Granier, former estate manager at Château Labegorce in Bordeaux. “We’re just starting to export now,” Cleto told db, as she pointed to a step up in the region’s efforts to win over foreign markets.

“I think people are starting to understand the market outside,” she remarked. “They’re not focusing on France as much as before.”

One particular factor behind this change, she noted, is that “all the winemakers now have sent their children to business schools.” As a result, Cleto continued: “There’s now a new generation that is starting to export and adapt their wines to the market. Before there were old labels, it was all very old fashioned, but now that’s starting to refresh, which was needed.”

In addition to this more carefully targeted marketing, Cleto noted: “The wines have changed too,” explaining: “People understood that alcohol was not everything and there are more blends. The EU policy of pulling up vines helped as well – it was mostly the old varieties that were a negative for the Languedoc: too strong, too rough. The varieties now used are more delicate.”

Alongside these improvements in viticulture and vinification, Cleto highlighted the original character offered by a number of styles from the Languedoc-Roussillon. “We have wines like Picpoul de Pinet that are very specific to the region,” she concluded. “You won’t find them anywhere else.”

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
Liverpool

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
M3/M4 corridor

Media Sales Manager - Hong Kong

The Drinks Business Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Regional Account Manager

New Generation Wines
London, UK

Experienced Sales Account Manager – On Trade

Cantina Goccia
London and the south, UK

National Sales Manager – Premium Drinks

Core Recruitment
London based with national travel

Wine Trainee

Stone, Vine & Sun
Twyford, near Winchester, Hampshire

Senior Technologist - Drinks

Conviviality Group
London, UK

Procurement Manager

JF Hillebrand Global Beverage Logistics
Essex, UK

Porter & Laker Manager

Porter & Laker
Essex, UK

Sales Manager & Brand Ambassador - Southwest

Salcombe Distilling Co.
Southwest of England - reporting to Salcombe HQ, GB

Head of Marketing

ATOM Supplies
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Private Client Sales Manager

Cult Wines
Hammersmith, London, UK

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 24th February 2017

The Prosecco Masters 2017

Deadline : 24th February 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 28th April 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 3rd March 2017

Click to view more

The Global Sparkling Masters

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters

The Global Rosé Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the launch of the Global Rosé Masters 2016.

The Prosecco Masters 2016

Now in its third year, the competition will reflect the growth in popularity of this fresh and exciting sparkling wine from the picturesque regions of Veneto and Friuli.

The Global Pinot Noir Masters 2016

After the success of last year’s competition that judged over 250 wines from no less than 16 countries, the drinks business is proud to announce the third year of the Global Pinot Noir Masters

Click to view more