Innovative Vins de Pays are key wine assets

Christine Boggis's article about Vins de Pays (OLN, May 4) omitted a key issue. Whilst she is correct in reporting that performance in volume and value in 2006/early 2007 is negative, this is largely due to the low performance of own label wines on the UK market and not because consumers are not choosing to select VdP wines. This trend consequently blurs the real performance of the Vins de Pays category itself.

Take one fact: three out of the five top-selling French brands in the UK belong to the VdP category, and the average growth of French brands on this market in 2006 is 29 per cent (according to Nielsen figures). This can only be seen as good news for the category.

I am glad that Christine mentions that the overall quality of Vins de Pays wines has been improving consistently. This has been seen particularly in the past four years, as acknowledged by Tim Atkin MW and the rest of the esteemed panel of judges from the Top 100 Vins de Pays. Indeed, quality is a crucial part of VdP's strategy and strength going forward and, as the results from the Top 100 this year have demonstrated, the quality and variety of the wines have never been stronger.

I believe that Vin de Pays remains one of the best assets for France as it clearly addresses the challenges on this and other export markets. A consistent effort in quality, marketing and innovation, led by a new generation of producers, is the trademark of Vins de Pays and I believe this is already leading the category to renewed growth. Vignobles de France is another key element towards this new phase, born through a real commercial strategy and investment.

Come and see for yourselves at the LIWSF on stand H 140/1 to taste the Top 100 Vins de Pays.

Nöel Bougrier

President ANIVIT

(Vins de Pays generic

marketing board)

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