Blog: Olly WehringVinisud - Day Three

Olly Wehring | 20 February 2008

This week, we have had a roving reporter covering the Vinisud trade event in southern France. Sophie Kevany has been updating us daily from the three-day event, which winds up today (20 February), in Montpelier.

Strange, after the optimism encountered at the show this week, to see figures, published today (20 February), showing the Languedoc Roussillon region down in export value by 2.5%, belying individual successes.

So, it’s clear that something has to change. Luckily, one Frenchman I met today is clear about what should appeal to more consumers, while at the same time doing his little bit to lower CO2 emissions. Not through the use of Tetra Pak, PET or aluminium - but with sails.

Fréderic Albert has assembled a range of what he calls “normally priced, good French wine from the Languedoc”, retailing at between EUR7 and EUR20, which he will ship along canals from the Languedoc, and then out of Bordeaux by sailboat, through his company Compagnie de Transport Maritime a la Voile.

The first shipment of 60,000 bottles, bearing the slogan: “Carried by sailing ship, a better deal for the planet”, will arrive in Dublin this March, having saved 140 grammes of carbon per bottle.

A second ship, costing Albert around EUR6m, is almost ready and the next delivery is set for Canada in June. The UK, Sweden and Denmark will follow, using a total of seven ships by 2013.

A novel approach - but will it work?


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