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.
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.”