kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits & lifestyle writer / wine educator

703.203.9463

A rebranding for the South of France

The South of France, including the large Langudoc-Roussilon area, can be a great source for value wines in the VDP category. This quality category (which means "vin de pays," or, in English, "wine with geographical description,") is a step lower than the AOC (Appellation d'Origine Controllee,") and a step up from Vin de Table (table wine.) With VDP wines, winemakers are allowed to use non-traditional grapes and winemaking techniques, so there is a lot of great experimention going on. The result can be some truly terrific wines.

The winemakers from this area are going to rebrand themselves as "Sud de France" (South of France), and wines from this area will have blue labels so they are recognizable to consumers.

Some people feel that this won't really help, and that the winemakers need to step up and make better quality wines before the rest of the world will notice them. When I France a few years ago, I tried a bunch of wines from this area, including some truly fantastic wines (especially roses...). I think that as winemakers figure out what grapes grow best in what areas, and perfect the winemaking techniques for those areas, the wines will no doubt keep improving. And the new branding can only help the consumer.