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‘South of France’ earmarks €7 million for export

Wine producers in the south of France have allocated around €7m - half their total budget - to export markets.

The total pot of €15m consolidates funds from the wineries’ associations of Languedoc, Roussillon, and Pays d’Oc into a new body, which will promote all the region’s wines collectively under the name ‘South of France’.

Additionally, these funds have been matched by the Languedoc-Roussillon regional parliament thus doubling the projected budget, to be spent on promotion.

The export share has been divided equally between the mature European markets, and developing markets in the US, Japan and Canada.

The idea of creating one united wine trade federation in the South has been gathering momentum since the constitution for InterSud – the new regional trade body for the south – was signed in June.

But the process has been dogged by legal and administrative holdups despite strong support throughout the region.

Government delays in ratifying the new cross-regional Languedoc AOC, which forms an essential part of marketing, could become a further setback. A commentator said there were ‘rumours in the corridors of the Ministry of possible problems ahead.

Another development was the shock resignation of the Fitou appellation from CIVL (the Languedoc wineries’ association) in October. It is not yet clear whether Fitou intends to be part of InterSud.

Government representative Eugène Julien said it was ‘a luxury’ to have a series of separate associations. He re-emphasised the need for ‘one cohesive body, very quickly too.’

Written by Richard James

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