France’s Languedoc-Roussillon region is opening a retail showroom in London.

Scheduled to open 18 June in Cavendish Square, La Maison du Languedoc-Roussillon will operate separately from France’s national tourist offices in the UK.

‘No other French region has done this kind of thing to present itself as a brand,’ said Sébastien Du Boullay, food and wine promotion manager.

‘We are the first to provide a coordinated, unified resource for all the specialties of the region.’

Half of the 70 square meter showroom, which features dedicated tasting areas, meeting and presentation rooms, will be allocated to wine – now being marketed under the umbrella brand ‘Sud de France’.

Du Boullay said he anticipated that initial interest would come mainly from the trade – importers, distributors and restaurateurs – wanting to learn more about the region and forge closer professional ties.

The showroom is part of a global roll-out of Languedoc-Roussillon tourism outposts. There are already such centres in Shanghai, Milan and Brussels, and one is due to open in New York.

The region has invested a great deal in recent years in reinventing itself as a quality wine-producing region, in which there are 30 appellations and 30,000 producers.

In 2006, the Sud de France/Languedoc-Roussillon region produced 15.7m hectolitres – 34% of France’s total wine production – of which about 100m bottles were exported to the UK, the second largest export market after Germany.

Written by Maggie Rosen