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UK buyers help pick ambassador wines to promote Vin de France

Published:  28 February, 2014

Up to nearly 90 wines thought to represent the very best of what Vin de France can offer have been picked by a trade panel to help promote Vin de France in key export markets like the UK.

The wines were selected as part of the Best Value Vin de France Selection run by Anivin de France, the organisation responsible for promoting Vin de France wines.

In the end 87 wines were chosen from 290 wines entered by 60 French companies. Of the wines chosen 13 were considered to be of gold medal standard, 74 were awarded silver medals, with 30% of the selected wines receiving some sort of award.

Valérie Pajotin, director of Anivin de France, said: "The last five years have seen a real development in the range and breadth of Vin de France wines entered into the competition. At the beginning it was only mono-varietal wines, but year after year you can see winemakers understanding that the asset of this category is to be able to blend between regions. There are a lot of wines with a little bit of Muscat this year; last year was the first time we saw Gros Manseng. And I am personally excited to see both Merlot and Malbec varietal wines come to the fore this year, alongside the more classic Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay wines."

The wines were chosen at a special tasting in Paris by a panel of 25 international wine experts. from 12 countries, who tasted the 290 wines blind. The panel included figures from the UK wine trade including Ana Sapungiu (Oddbins), Beth Willard (Direct Wines), Ben Cahill (Co-op) and Marcel Orford-Williams (Wine Society). Visitors to Prowein will be able to taste the wines in Hall 5 Booth C 01.

The Wine Society's Orford-Wiliams said: "Vin de France is more about what it offers buyers as it's giving us access to play, and blend things that you would never have done before."

Beth Willard at Laithwaite's added: "Vin de France allows us to shop around, be flexible and think outside the box.  It allows us to do something that's more off the wall and evocative of the country as a whole."

Whilst Ana Sapungiu at Oddbins said of the Vin de France selection: "Vin de France is an opportunity for people doing the right things to build a brand and be successful.  And what I like about it is that it is trying to make wine for the end consumer, not terroir driven, but grape and style driven."