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New Grand d'Oc classification

Published:  23 July, 2008

"Super" Vins de Pays d'Oc on the way

THE GRAND D'OC designation, first mooted at Vinexpo two years ago, will be launched later this year with the 2000 whites. These will be marketed as the equivalent of "Super" Vins de Pays d'Oc. Florence Barths of the Syndicat des Vins de Pays d'Oc told Harpers that a tasting will be held in Montpellier over the next month and the selected wines will be entitled to use the new regional name. A red wine tasting will take place at a later date. "Our aim is to create a new hierarchy for Vins de Pays d'Oc and a reappraisal of price levels for our wines. These wines will be the jewel in our crown." The Grand d'Oc name will be given to no more than 1% of the region's 3.5 million hl. To qualify, wines have to be aged for at least 12 months and must be bottled in the region. Grard Bertrand, president of Languedoc-Roussillon producer, Les Vins de Prestige Grard Bertrand, welcomed the new initiative. "This will enable us to differentiate between wines that come from vineyards producing 80hl/ha and wines from low-yielding old vines situated in specific terroirs. It will help to have a hierarchy of terroirs and wine styles." David Rowe, co-founder of New World Wine Shippers (NWWS) and a former editor of Decanter, disagrees. He has been working with the Adel co-operative in the south of France since 1997, producing Vin de Pays de l'Aude and Vin de Pays d'Oc wines. He told Harpers: "Vin de Pays d'Oc is about varietal character not terroir - the opposite of appellation contrle. Going for a Grand Cru system defeats the object. If they want to do that, they should use the appellation contrle system."