Blog: Chris Brook-CarterWine Evolution 2005 - Update #3

Chris Brook-Carter | 1 February 2005

Wine Evolution here in Paris is now well into its second and final day. Inevitably, given the show’s location and the news yesterday that the French Government has pledged €70m in aid to its winemakers, much of the debate has centred on the plight of French wine at home and abroad.

The usual tussle between French producers and New World winemakers over terroir versus simple branding surfaced once again. However, there was a growing understanding that these are separate products, and although France is in desperate need of reform, we cannot simply force New World marketing practices onto Old World products, whose strengths lie elsewhere.

A number of French producers aside, the overall feel of the conference was positive driven by optimism, in particular, from the US and UK markets. The challenges remain clear, though. The global oversupply is still sloshing about and consolidation at the retail level in many major markets continues. Both phenomena continue to help drive the momentum of the discount category, often at the expense of more premium offerings. Our industry must be prepared to accept its own consolidation as a means to combat these trends and embrace innovation as a tool to drive the value growth.


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