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Languedoc producers ‘need to stop compromising on price’

The owner of Domaine de Sainte Rose in the Languedoc has shared her fears about the region’s lack of realistic and sustainable pricing in the UK market.

Speaking to db, Ruth Simpson outlined the enormous financial pressure that growers are facing, particularly as many wineries anticipate a severely reduced yield in 2021.

“Although people recognise that the Languedoc can produce fantastic wines, there is still a glass ceiling as far as pricing is concerned,” Simpson said.

“The UK market is hugely competitive and the Languedoc is a huge vineyard area, so most retailers and wholesalers still expect prices to be low, even if you are a smaller boutique producer with higher viticultural and production costs.

“The area will suffer particularly this year as volumes are way down after the frosts and unlike prestigious areas like Burgundy and Bordeaux, the majority of Languedoc producers cannot raise prices as the market will just not accept it.”

According to Simpson, Domaine de Sainte Rose normally produces approximately 350,000 bottles of wine a year. “But we will be lucky if we get 30% of our usual yield in 2021,” she told db.

“Sadly I think only a minority of consumers would be prepared to pay over £50 for Languedoc wines; it tends to be for small production, niche labels, which will never make up the majority of wine produced in this area. I really hope that changes, but in the almost 20 years that we have owned the brand, not a lot has.”

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