Emerging Languedoc region targets UK for exports

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Producers from the emerging Saint-Chinian appellation in the Languedoc in southern France are to target the UK in early 2013 in the hope of gaining listings and a foothold in the UK wine market.

 

The move follows a series of visits from key UK trade figures to the region, including a Harpers buying trip in the autumn with representatives from the likes of Oddbins, ETM Group and Stone Vine and Sun.

 

The trade will get the chance to meet 13 producers from the region at a special tasting to be held on February 21 at the Maison de la Région Languedoc-Roussillon in London. This will also include a selection of Saint-Chinian Grands Crus chosen at the annual blind tasting held in the Languedoc earlier this month.

 

The Saint-Chinian region currently exports 31% of its production, with 11% sold in the UK, but it hopes to raise that significantly by building closer ties with key trade buyers, wine critics and the press.

 

During the Harpers buying trip Sarah Riddle of the ETM Group said of Saint-Chinian: “I was blown away by the standard from the young vintages as well as the 2009 and 2007.”

 

Saint-Chinian has 106 independent wineries and eight cooperatives spread across 20 villages and is dominated by two soil types: schist in the north; clay limestone in the south, separated by the Vernazobres and Orb rivers. It was first awarded appellation status in 1982 for red and rosé wines and 2004 for its white wines.

 

It has an annual average production of 115,000 hectolitre making it the fourth largest AOC in Languedoc, with average yields of 42 hl/ha and a split of 85% red, 13% rosé and 2% white.

 

You can find more about the region at www.saint-chinian.com.

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