Five -minute focus

03 October, 2008

Industry in crisis

The French wine industry is in a big crisis - we won't get out of it overnight, it will take time. It's a cycle of

10 years and we

are in the middle of it. It will take five years to get people to be more open-minded and rather than talking about specific regions, to look at France as an entire country producing wine. France has everyday wine of a high quality which is very good value for money. Most French wines are less expensive today than a lot of Australian wine, but there are still too many discounted, cheap wines where the quality is not so good, and that is damaging France.

Merchandising French wine

Wine shoppers all feel insecure and it's brands that make people feel comfortable because it's a safe buy.

To help the consumer, retailers need

to offer clearer merchandising and

st art putting reds

and whites together. They need to decompartmentalise

the wine fixture and merchandise

by brands, not regions or


Brands are key

Wine is a very sentimental product, people have a lot of feelings when they talk about wine. People don't like talking about brands and that needs to change. Why cannot French wine have brands like in Chile or New Zealand? In Spain they are doing it, and in Italy they are starting to. The fact is that consumers want a certain level of quality, they don't want vintage variation. They want reassurance that behind the label is what there should be. At the moment with so many different labels on French wine, it's impossible

to find a certain wine so people move over to the



Listen to the consumer

In France we

always concentrate on

the production and not on the consumer. We have to listen to the consumer - they don't want high alcohol in their wines. People are looking for fresher, less

alcoholic, fruitier wines. A lot of French wines are too dry for a lot of palates, with too much tannin and not enough fruit. People want wines that are easy to drink and


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