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Published:  23 July, 2008

Wines from southern France can hold and even increase their UK market share, if labelling and low-end quality problems are addressed', according to research claimed to have been carried out among leading UK wine buyers and opinion formers by Wine Intelligence in early 2002. According to Wine Intelligence, 20 leading wine industry figures in the UK participated, using innovative online research techniques. The study set out to examine key issues for the wines and producers of southern France in the UK market, including pricing, branding, classification systems, terroir, producer attitudes, labelling and the future of wines from this region within the UK market. Key findings included concerns among many of the respondents about a lack of clarity in projecting regional identity, and ineffectual labelling. One consequence was that the region was not achieving the recognition and market share that its diverse, highly-regarded and individual wines and producers deserved. The study also found that many producers were less supportive of the UK market than producers from far more distant wine-producing regions. Overall, the study group was generally supportive of much of the wine from this region, rating it highly in value for money terms. There was, however, widespread criticism of the cheapest wines, which were seen to be losing ground to more approachable wines from other regions, both New and Old World. The participants were drawn from all sectors of the UK trade, including wine writers with respected knowledge of southern France. Copies of the report are available at 95 or e155. For further information, contact Lulie Halstead at Wine Intelligence, on: 020 8334 8071; e-mail: lulie@