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Best Value Vin de France competition looks to double in 2012

Published:  21 June, 2011

The Best Value Vin de France selection of wines hopes to increase its range of award winning wines from the 46 chosen in the 2011 competition to at least 100 for the 2012 awards.

The competition organised by Anivin de France has for the last two years showcased the best value vin de France wines under the new rules that allow producers to make and market wines by grape variety or by blending grapes from different appellations.

Valierie Pajotin, director general of Anivin de France, told Harpers at a tasting of the winners of the 2011 awards held today at Vinexpo that she was "very optimistic" about how the competition can grow and be seen as a real platform for French producers to market their new branded vin de France wines.

She was particularly encouraged by the large number of major French players present at Vinexpo that are creating specific vin de France brands and getting fully behind the new initiative. She said the rule changes had opened the doors for French producers to fully compete with their New World competitors.

"We are now fighting with the same weapon as the New World," said Pajotin. The vin de France category had the potential to change consumers' perceptions about France, she added. "Brands are so necessary now for consumers. They are looking for wines they can trust and that can deliver consistency and reliability. France has been built on its heritage and around vintage. Vin de France allows us to compete with the New World. "

She was also confident that the 2012 competition would see more wines from across all the key vin de France price points. Its strategy, she stressed, was to promote and highlight vin de France wines from entry level through medium and premium price points that all show genuine value for money.

"As it evolves we will see more wines represented across those the full best value category be it entry level, medium or the top level. In the first year we had 27 wines in the selection, this year it was 46, next year we expect it to be 100," explained Pajotin.

"I think producers are beginning to see the value in the competition itself. The Best Value Vin de France label is in many ways better than just having a medal for the wine."

Pajotin also believes branded French wines will help the overall French category, particularly in attracting new young wine drinkers. "The grape variety is the way new consumers are coming in to wine, " she explained. "People then work out which grape variety they like and then which country makes the right kind of wine for them. So we are now able to compete in the same way as the New World countries. It is opening up a whole new world of opportunities."

The judging panel for the Best Value de France awards is to be extended from the current UK and German tasters to also include experts from Japan, China and across Asia. By doing so it hopes to come up with a collection of wines that truly suit the international wine market.

Judging for the 2012 competition is expected to take place in February with the results announced in time to present the wines at next year's Prowein exhibition in Dusseldorf.