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France Summit to focus on how the country is adapting to UK consumer needs

Published:  04 July, 2014

Harpers will once again be turning the spotlight well and truly on the ins and outs, ups and downs of the French wine category as the French Summit returns for its second year on October 21 at London's St Ermin's Hotel.

Following the success of the inaugural event Harpers has teamed up with a number of major French producers, and generic and promotional bodies to create a day's activity centred around industry debates, panel discussions, open tastings, masterclasses and culminating with the presentation of the Harpers French Awards.

The central theme of the day will look at how the French wine category is adapting to suit the changing needs and demands of the UK market and, in particular, how producers and UK importers are working together to make wine that matches the UK palate and are relevant for UK consumers.

The day will offer visitors the chance to not only listen but take part in cross industry debates that will also explore how French wine and its producers compare to other competing markets in how quick, flexible and adaptable they are to UK needs.

Master Sommelier, Gerard Basset, has again agreed to host two masterclasses in his role as ambassador for summit partner, France AgriMer' s French Wines with Style initiative. They will include 'France is in the House', an overview of more unusual French wines that could be an interesting and profitable alternative for house wines and 'Gerard Basset's Coup de Coeur wines' which will be his personal selection from the recent Hachette Guide. 

The open tasting will feature highlighted wines that match the overall theme of the day from the summit partners. To date these include: France AgriMer, Les Grands Chais de France, Medoc, BIVB, Interloire, InterRhone, BIVC Centre Loire and Les Producteurs Plaimont.

The Harpers Awards will be an opportunity to reward and celebrate the best retailers and restaurateurs selling French wine in the UK. The finalists will be chosen from the votes of the Harpers France Awards Voting Academy made up key trade figures across all channels including sommeliers, Masters of Wine, wine critics, journalists, consultants, suppliers and distributors.

The categories include:

Best Restaurant/Wine List for French Wine - regional

Best Restaurant/Wine List for French Wine - London

Best Independent for French Wine - small

Best Independent for French Wine - large

Best Distributor/Supplier for French Wine

Best Supermarket for French Wine

Best Online retailer for French Wine

Best French Wine Writer/Critic

Best French Wine Ambassador/Communicator

Harpers Special Recognition Award

For more information about the France Summit, or if you would like to get involved as a speaker, panellist or partner then please contact Joanna Gibson on