French wine producers and traders are for once showing a united front in urging the Government to back a project creating a new appellation of wine: "Vin de Pays de France."

One of the project's initiators is France's Association of Wines and Spirits Producers and Bottlers (AFED), who argue that French wines suffer on the international market because they project an image of complexity, even old-fashionedness. The new appellation would lead to the production of wines which are "easy to understand and more to the consumer's taste".

The sector has been working on the project for the past 3 years and its representatives have held regular meetings with the Ministry of Agriculture. The hope is the government will publish a decree during the course of 2006 ushering in the new appellation.