French President Nicolas Sarkozy ‘s dream of having a presidential jet to rival Air Force One of the United States is about to come true.
â€œAir Sarko One,â€ a $241-million Airbus A330-200, has made its first test flight in Bordeaux, southwestern France.
Although not quite as big as the Boeing 747-200 that is Air Force One, the French A330-200 will be at least ten metres longer and two metres higher that the aircraft used by other European leaders. Continue reading →
LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault, the man behind some of the world’s top luxury labels, has been officially named France’s richest man.
Arnault’s fortune is estimated at 22.7 billion euros, ($28.6 billion) following a 55% increase in his net worth weekly magazine Challenges reported.
Arnault took over the top slot from Gerard Mulliez and family, the owners of the Auchan supermarket chain. Mulliez was still in second place with a fortune estimated at 19 billion euros. Continue reading →
Louis Vuitton unveiled its revamped luxury Saint-Tropez store on 18-June 2010 and launched an exclusive beach bag to celebrate.
The store has been doubled in size with the integration of an adjoining spaceâ€“a former house of potteryâ€“on rue Georges Clemenceau.
It features interiors inspired by classic Mediterranean glamour: wooden displays, stone floors and sunlight flooding in through large windows that open onto a private garden paved with Provencal briquettes and Mediterranean plants. Continue reading →
In the sun-drenched south of France, the world’s largest vineyard has launched a new, simplified brand called “Pays d’Oc”, creating the number one French wine export to compete against New World brands.
Languedoc-Roussillon covers 35 percent (or 260,200 hectares) of all French vineyards, making it the biggest producer worldwide.
As of the 2009 vintage, soon to hit store shelves, one-third of that production or 760 million bottles of wine will be sold by vintage and grape variety under the Pays d’Oc brand.
This will make them the world’s fifth largest exporter of varietal wine. And with 33 grape varieties in production in the region, the market potential is impressive. Continue reading →
France’s oldest spirit, Armagnac, is celebrating its 700th birthday with a new marketing push vaunting its “40 virtues” as a drink that is good for the body and good for the soul.
The first mention of Armagnac dates back to 1310 when Prior Vital Dufour wrote a treaty on medicine in which he laid out the 40 virtues of the liqueur produced in southwest France.
“This water, if taken medically and soberly is said to have 40 virtues,” wrote Dufour. “It enlivens the spirit, if taken in moderation, recalls the past to memory, renders men joyous, preserves youth and delays senility.” Continue reading →
Coming in behind saffron, macadamia nuts, beluga caviar, and white truffles, the fifth most expensive food in the world isn’t some exotic fish or endangered tropical fruit: it’s a rare variety of potato.
Grown in France, the La Bonnotte potato sometimes achieves a market price of an astounding â‚¬500/kilo (US $300/lb).
It is cultivated exclusively on the Isle of Noirmoutier, where seaweed is added to the soil in which itâ€™s grown. Continue reading →