France’s new wine regions

Elisabeth Fosso - 11-janv.-2016 13:28:56
  For the first time in history, the French wine sector experiences a mini-liberalisation with the addition of 8,000 ha of new vineyards. It represents a 1% increase of the wine growing area. The new regulation – approved by the European Commission, enables winemakers to produce a new wine "appellation" or label to be called VSIG (Vins sans Indication Géographique: Wines without Geographic Indication).   Many in the wine business criticize the new regulation and consider that it can taint the reputation of the business as a whole and the traditional notion of "terroir" as the set of special characteristics that the geography, geology and climate of a certain place, interacting with plant genetics, express in agricultural products. Indeed, terroir is the principle that justifies the protection of large parts of French agriculture. On the other hand, merchants and wine-producing companies believe that it will bring in new ideas and foster the development of new brands for the international market.   Eight years of tough negotiations in Brussels led to this and as of January 1 st , the rules on planting new vines in the EU have changed.       Sources: ,   © Getty images  

A good year for French wine despite drop in production

Myriam Kajji - 14-sept.-2015 15:13:02
The French grape harvest was slightly lower in 2015 compared to last year due to a lack of rain, but industry professionals are still expecting an exceptional vintage. The French ministry of agriculture’s figures are always eagerly awaited by wine lovers the world over, particularly since France reclaimed its status as the world’s top wine producer last year after a two-year slump due to heavy rains and low temperatures. France is on track to produce 46.5 hectolitres of wine in 2015, a decrease of 1 percent compared to 2014. France has just made its way through the third-hottest July since 1900 with less than half the rain than usual, according to French meteorologists, which impacts the size of the grapes. The ministry’s statistics department said the year’s harvest should nevertheless still be higher than the annual average for the past five years, or 45.6 million hectolitres of wine. The agriculture ministry added that recent improved meteorological conditions could even push the figures higher in the coming weeks. A very good year Despite the slight decline in volume in France, winegrowers are promising an exceptional 2015 vintage. “It’s turning into a rather good year, thanks to full ripeness, with very promising flavours and fermentation,” Jérôme Despey, president of the FranceAgriMer trade group, told AFP. While many French agricultural sectors struggled through the heat wave and ensuing drought this summer, Despey said those conditions were good for vineyards.

Caudalie opens its second boutique in Paris

Vimla Hunt - 10-sept.-2015 13:11:20
French vine extract-based skincare company Caudalie has opened a second French boutique, at the heart of the Carrousel du Louvre shopping centre in Paris. Its first opened two years ago in the rue des Francs-Bourgeois. The new outlet measures 60 square metres - a typical size for a shop in Paris, and faces the Apple store. The interior was created by BETC Design, which is in charge of all Caudalie boutiques and features raw oak throughout, including walls, shelves and banks of drawer with brass handles, inspired by the boatyards of the Bordeaux region. The centre of the shop houses a tester bar - the Bar Beauté Barrique - with ends shaped like wine barrels and work surfaces in pale marble, while the walls feature images of vines, and a large screen TV projects images from a walk beside the vineyards of Château Smith Haut Lafitte. Surmounting everything hangs a sculpture of grapes. ”We have chosen the Carrousel du Louvre because we feel it is a great place to present our brand for our target market, who visit the Louvre museum and who want to obtain natural cosmetic products that are made in France,” Emily le Moult, in charge of publicity at Caudalie, told Cosmetic Business. She added: “Our whole range is available in the boutique.” Caudalie also has boutiques in New York, Los Angeles and London, and is continuing to develop its network worldwide, according to le Moult. “This year, another Parisian boutique will open its doors as well as a boutique in Germany,” she said. Among other treatments, the Carrousel de Louvre shop will offer 10-minute facials (Le Soin Beauté) without appointment, and a hand scrub treatment with massage.

The 2013 grape harvest from Bourgogne will increase in spite of bad climate conditions

KAJJI Myriam - 18-sept.-2013 18:09:25
After the bad production of 2012 (the worst for 20 years with 1.2 million hectoliters), the Confédération des appellations et des vignerons de Bourgogne (CAVB) foresees an increasing of 6% in the grape harvest from Burgundy. Even if the bad weather of July and August has had a bad impact on the production, harvests are likely to reach 1.35 million hectoliters (a production which will still be below the normal threshold of 1.5 million hectoliters). Indeed, French producers from Burgundy have seen their vineyards affected by difficult climatic conditions from April to July. Because of cool temperatures, persistent rains and high humidity in April and May followed by storms and hails in June and July, some wine growers will see their production decrease by 80%. In some parts, all the crop has been destroyed by hailstorm . Moreover, the harvest will be postpone of two weeks whereas the alcohol content will be probably inferior than the previous year. Nevertheless, we can observe a slight recovery of the French wine sector with an increase of the annual production this year to reach 43.5 million hectoliters according to Jérôme Despey, president of the wine department of France Agrimer . Although the national wine production will not exceed the average production of the 10 previous years (45.4 million hectoliters), this activity is dynamic with growing innovation following consumption and buying trends. For example, there are more than 350 websites in France offer ing wines online and a French company is launching wine packaged in a can .

The 2012 grape harvest in France: The lowest one in 40 years

Myriam Kajji - 26-nov.-2012 14:05:49
The grape harvest in France was exceptionally low this year: only 40.6 millions of hectoliters which is 20% less than in 2011. This is the worst harvest in volume in the last 40 years, mostly due to this year unsettled weather, which has been devastating for most vineyards. French vineyards were hit by hail, frost, and also drought. In Beaujolais and Burgundy, winegrowers had to select the grapes because of the scadling that happened in August. The harvest is around 50% less than the average of the last 5 years. In Champagne, we can also notice a decrease of 37%. Even in the Roussillon region, there was a huge sanitary problem with odium and grape worm, in addition to a highly drying wind: the tramontane.  Weather issue has not only an impact on harvested volumes, but also on the quality of the wine. In fact, drought has cost some grape complexities that may hinder the wines’ abilities to age. Drought stresses the vines, making them less likely to survive a harsh winter and produce good grapes the next season. In spite of that, the 2012 vintage seems to be promising for consumers as careful winemakers have managed to save the best grapes to ensure high quality wines. Weather issues can have a major impact on winegrowers’ activities; In Beaujolais, it is estimated that around 500 out of 2300 producers will be under pressure to maintain their business alive. Wine production and wine quality are closely related to the weather, but isn’t it the magic of wine?!

Grands Chais de France develops its spirits activities in France

Agathe Damour - 18-juin-2012 10:35:27
Founded in 1979, The Grands Chais de France (GCF) group is one of the world’s leading wholesale spirit and wine merchants (turnover of €750M in 2009). The group has become France’s n°1 winemaker and owns numerous vineyards in and around Alsace, Bordeaux, the Loire valley, Languedoc or Beaujolais. GCF has been exporting spirits for years and is now developing its spirits activities in France since the industry has been reshaped. A bottling plant located in Petersbach is dedicated to white alcohol (Jelzin vodka and Aguavita tequila) and rum based cocktails (El Fuego and Cuerpo). For the first time ever, wines and spirits generated more than €10 billion in France (2011), a 10.5 % annual increase according to the Federation of Wine and Spirits Exporters. Cocktails, such as mojito, vodka with orange juice and whisky with cola continue to be very popular among the young generation. As a result, they continue to drive the best performing categories and consequently, the overall volume sales of spirits in 2011. To be a key player in France, GCF hired two new senior sales directors in order to improve the position of the group within the spirit market and develop new private labels for the main French operators. With a consequent portfolio of 380 spirits references, GCF just launched a new brand “Jardins Secrets”. Source:,130882

French Wine Industry Overview

Marion Duguen - 05-janv.-2011 16:36:46
France has the second largest vineyard in the world after Spain. With 840 000ha of vine, France produces 45.6m hl of wine per year and is the world’s second most important producer after Italy. France, Italy and Spain represent 36% of the world’s vineyard and 48% of the global production (2009).  As a comparison, the 7 other countries with the largest vineyard surface (Turkey, China, USA, Iran, Portugal, Argentina, Romania) represent 31% (7.66m ha) of the world’s vineyard surface. As regard to production, the 7 other biggest producers (USA, Argentina, China, Australia, Chile, South Africa, Germany) account for 32% of the global production. The world’s wine consumption accounted for 236.5m hl in 2008. The highest quantity is consumed in France with 29.9m hl, followed by the USA (27.3m hl) and Italy (24.5m hl). French wine is the most exported around the world.
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