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Fears France's latest vintage will put pressure on UK retailers

Published:  23 October, 2013

Whilst the French wine category is currently enjoying "unprecedented" sales in some UK retailers, there are real concerns about what impact this year's expected troubled vintage is going to have on the market in the year ahead.

Speaking at this week's Harpers France Summit, Tesco buyers confirmed they had seen "unprecedented" sales for French wine over the past 20 weeks and that they were anticipating a "fantastic Christmas" for its range of French wine.

But the jury was very much out on how the expected lower harvests in France this year, particularly in Bordeaux and Burgundy, will impact on the category next year.

Beverly Tabbron MW, purchasing director at Hallgarten Druitt also questioned how pricing will be affected by France's lower 2013 vintage.

She said there would be greater pressure on the UK trade to "manage" the vintage so that it could continue to provide consumers with the quality of wine at all the key price points.

There were concerns amongst many of the distributors and importers at the France Summit about what sort of price increases might be coming out of France next year.

The inaugural Harpers France Summit, held on October 22 at London's St Ermin's hotel, included two major trade debates. One that looked at how different operators are sourcing wine from France, whilst the other questioned if the UK trade was getting the most out of the French category.

It also included masterclasses from Master Sommeliers Gerard Basset OBE and Ronan Sayburn, and Oddbins buyer Ana Sapungiu.