France’s appellation system may soon be homogenised into globally recognised brands, according to a French wine official.
Valérie Pajotin, director of Anivin de France, said last week that French wine will end up ‘like Coca-Cola’ with many producers opting out of appellation systems in favour of adopting a generic ‘Vins de France’ brand.
The trade body is responsible for promoting the new Vins de France category, which allows French producers and brand owners to blend wines across different regions to produce wines consistent in quality and style.
The wines are designed to appeal to younger consumers at lower price levels, marketed by their grape variety, not origin.
‘Assembling wines in this way ensures a consistency of quality which will retain consumer loyalty by offering a constant taste from 1 January to 31 December’, said Pajotin.
‘France is one of largest wine producers in the world and the maker of the most famous wines in the world, yet many wine drinkers in France do not know grape varieties’, she added.
Anivin replaced the organisation Anivit last October, with the blessing of the French group AGEV, which represents wine companies and merchants in France.
However not everyone has welcomed the proposals.
Several proprietors in the Medoc who spoke to decanter.com this week – who wanted to remain anonymous – called the measures a ‘disaster’ and ‘a violation of our wine heritage’.
Anivin cannot force growers to switch allegiances from their traditional appellations. Control of the appellation system still rests with INAO, whose authority outranks Anivin.
Written by James Lawrence