Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Anglos Developing a Taste for Loire Wines


The local paper is reporting that sales of Loire Valley wines are up in Britain and the US. The producers association InterLoire regularly organises trade shows and commercial opportunities in both countries. Apparently the British love Vouvrays, the Americans are discovering Chinons.

 Chinon wines in the caves of Charles Joguet, near Marçay.

The US is now the most important export market in terms of value (27%) and the second in terms of volume (21%) for Loire Valley wines. Sales increased in 2015 by 12% in volume and 19% in terms of value.

 Serving sparkling Vouvray wine to a group of British visitors
at the caves of Chateau Gaudrelle.

Not all the Loire appellations are members of InterLoire. There are a couple who have withdrawn because they feel the organisation is not worth the price of membership. InterLoire has a newly appointed president and I suspect this positive newspaper article is at least partly an attempt to raise the profile and reputation under new management.

 Boxes of wine stacked on pallets ready for export at Chateau Gaudrelle.

Whites from Sancerre and Touraine have been strong sellers in the States for a while now. Vouvray has not been able to crack the market there, simply due to lack of sufficient volume of production. Chinon reds are gaining a significant foothold in America and consumers enjoy their fruitiness and their very attractive price.

Touraine wine box at Chateau de la Presle.

The UK is still the premier export market for the region's wines, with whites being the most popular here too. Here Vouvray has gained some market share, as sales of still wines have gone down slightly, but sparkling has increased.

Labels for bottles of Touraine white wines destined for the USA.

InterLoire will be in the US from 5 April to 3 May, at three days in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago that they have dubbed 'Spring to Loire'. They will presenting Loire Valley wines to importers, distributers, wine shops and sommeliers. They are also going to have a significant presence at Wine Week in London from 23 to 29 May, where they will have sales points in 125 bars, restaurants and wine shops.

Two American clients tasting Touraine whites at Domaine de la Chaise with Véronique Davault.

Sadly there is no interest at all in Australia that I am aware of in Loire wines.



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Au jardin hier: The first orchid, an Early Spider, is out. The Glanville Fritillary caterpillars are getting bolder and foraging further afield and further apart. There was a Comma on the brambles.

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A la cuisine hier: Spicy Lentil Soup for lunch, chicken stir-fry for dinner, with carrot, onion, broccoli rabe, red pepper, loads of spices, Dutch sweet pear pickle and soy sauce.

6 comments:

  1. I know you have to be one to know one, but at first, on the second photo. I thought it was an antique show!

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  2. In my experience, younger Americans, and even middle-aged ones, aren't attracted to Vouvray wines because of their sweetness. Even the dry Vouvrays are a lot more sweet-tasting than Sauvignon Blanc wines, for example. America went through a period where domestic white wines were very sweet (Chardonnays, White Zinfandels), and as a result a lot of Americans are allergic to that taste now. It's too bad, but it's a matter of people being so inexperienced with wine. They don't know what it is "supposed" to taste like.

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    1. My experience, of our clients, is that they have mostly never heard of Vouvray. If they know a Loire wine it will be Sancerre. Taking them to Chateau Gaudrelle sorts them out. They come away fans. As you say, it's a matter of education.

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  3. InterLoire had a terrible reputation among the vignerons I knew...they had to pay their 'voluntary' contribution and received b all by way of promotion in return - mark you, these were little guys. Made superb wine, but little guys...
    I do hope that InterLoire will raise its game under a new president.

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  4. I don't think the local opinion of InterLoire is very high, and their website is terrible. My suspicion is that the new president won't make much difference, but let's hope he is able to achieve something.

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