Blog: Andy MortonFrance's southern winegrowers vie for award - and respect

Andy Morton | 5 June 2014

Among the bustle of - in my opinion - a rejuvenated London Wine Fair this week was a competition to honour the best wines of France's Languedoc-Roussillon region.

The Sud de France Top 100, now in its second year, is one of the many schemes that help bring to light some of the great products coming out of the wine world these days. But of particular interest with this one is its role in the on-going attempt to overhaul the reputation of Languedoc-Roussillon, once viewed solely as a bulk supplier of wine.

Last year, I visited the vineyards of Languedoc wine cooperative Les Vignobles Foncalieu, where I heard first-hand about efforts to premiumise and grab share of the higher-margin market. It is a process seen by many there as vital if the region's proud heritage as one of France's main wine producers is to be carried on.

This week's competition, overseen by master of wine Tim Atkin and an expert panel, was aimed at continuing that work, with 664 wines vying to make the list. But with premiumisation the watchword of the entire wine industry, France's southern growers will face stiffer competition than each other when it comes to tackling an ever-more competitive market.

For more info on the Sud de France Top 100, click here.

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