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French attitude to UK wine market improved, hears summit

Published:  23 October, 2013

There has been a marked improvement in recent years in the attitude of many French producers looking to work in the UK market, according to Anne Burchett, managing director of Sopexa UK. 

Speaking at the Harpers France Summit this week, Burchett said many more French producers had become less "arrogant" and more "humble" when dealing with the UK trade.

There is far greater understanding that they need to have a more specialised and targeted approach if they are to do well in this British market, she said.

This was a view backed up by Tim North of major French producer Les Grands Chais de France, which has wineries right across the major French regions.

He said there was also a definite shift amongst producers it works with to seek longer-term contracts when working in the UK so that they plan further ahead and protect their position here.

It was important, he stressed, for a company like Les Grands Chais de France to secure its own future by securing the future of its producers He also said the quality of French wine from right across the country is now superior to what it has ever been before.  

The first Harpers France Summit was held on October 22 at London's St Ermin's hotel and included a series of tastings, masterclasses, panel debates and the fist Harpers France Wine Awards.