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Younger consumers key to exploring French wines' diversity

Published:  15 January, 2014

Younger consumers are vital to drive sales of lesser-known French wines, said experts at the French Wine Discovery Tasting.

Engaging with younger consumers is key to driving sales of lesser-known French wines, said experts at the French Wine Discovery Tasting.

Up for discussion was whether the fame of France's well-known wine regions was helping or hindering their less famous counterparts in the UK.

Doug Wregg, of distributor Les Caves de Pyrene, said: "France is the most dynamic place in the world."

Wregg added that younger generations of consumers were now starting to explore France's lesser-known regions. These consumers have no preconceived ideas about French wines and are looking to find good quality wines at a reasonable price, that are a bit more off the beaten path.

"People are trying new things. Sommeliers are now younger and have such a refreshing approach to wine. They are happy to recommend new things to try," said Wregg.

Mark Connolly, of Spirited Wines, agreed that younger generations are trying French wines from lesser-known regions, saying: "It is positive and they are more willing to explore."

Debate chair Andrew Catchpole said that younger generations, who "don't have all the baggage and are looking for something different", were more willing to explore new French regions and styles.

Several panellists felt the best way to bring lesser-known wines to market is through tastings.

Connolly said: "The focus is tasting, tasting, tasting. There are a lot of regions that offer great value. Sales are good in smaller regions."

The 12th annual French Wine Discovery Tasting, which showcased over 120 exhibitors, was held at the Tobacco Dock yesterday on January 14th, 2014.

The event, which was put on by Wine 4 Trade, offered those in the trade an opportunity to discover new and small wine producers from several well-known and emerging wine regions in France. They also had the chance to attend debates and masterclasses that were held throughout the day.

A further in-depth exploration of France will be coming up in next month's edition of Harper's.