What is FranceFineWines?
Who is it for?
Small-scale producers of top-quality French wine who are looking to expand their sales in export markets and wine professionals who are looking for wines that offer quality and individuality plus the all-important support needed to market and sell them successfully. Wine bloggers and journalists will also find a mine of information to assist their work.
Why was FranceFineWines created?
At the same time that major international wine brands are expanding sales and distribution around the world, perhaps because of this, there is an ever-growing demand, from consumers and wine professionals alike, for top-quality wines from smaller producers. Wines that cannot be found in every wine shop, every supermarket and every wine-bar wherever you go.
Fortunately there are thousands of such wines waiting to be discovered.
Unfortunately it is difficult to find them and then sell them because the producers often lack the skills and resources needed to bring their wines to the attention of the importers and distributors they need and furthermore are unable to provide the marketing support those same importers and distributors need to succeed in the marketplace.
The purpose of FranceFineWines is to address both these issues.
What does FranceFineWines do?
France Fine Wines has been designed
- to help top-quality, small-scale French wine producers present their wines to wine professionals around the world by means of a state-of-the-art, internet-based platform.
- to provide a means by which demanding wine professionals around the world can find these first-class wines easily and quickly.
- to provide those same wine professionals with a series of sales and marketing tools that are the equal of anything that the larger, more financially powerful brands can provide.
- to provide a wealth of background information for both importers and wine producers in the form of articles, special features and newsletters.
How does it work?
The tutorial videos will show you in detail exactly how you can navigate around the site to find what you are looking for and how to take advantage of all the features available: search facilities, brand presentations, descriptions of regions and sub regions, downloadable and editable sales and marketing tools for local use and more…
How is it different to other wine resources?
We don’t give ratings – there are already plenty of sites available, some might say too many, that give you their opinion about the merits of the wines they taste and there is little to be added to that debate.
Certainly the brands featured in FranceFineWines have been invited to participate because of the quality of their wines so that you can be sure that every wine featured is worthy of your attention.
More wines will be added as the weeks and months go by so that there will always be plenty of good reasons to come back to visit FranceFineWines, but the total number of wines featured is capped so as to make searching easier and so as to ensure that every wine producer deserves his or her place because of the quality of the wine.
An equally important criterion for selection is the motivation and commitment that the wine makers demonstrate towards attaining their goal of developing sales in exports markets by helping their local partners.
In FranceFine Wines the focus is on providing practical information and resources that can be put to use quickly and easily to increase brand awareness, improve local brand marketing and produce more sales. This is something which, until now, only large brands with extensive marketing budgets have been able to offer. With the launch of FranceFineWines the playing field has been significantly levelled.
In the coming months the coverage of FranceFineWines will be expanded to more and more French wine regions, meanwhile we would like to start by introducing you to the artisan wines of Champagne.
There’s more to champagne than you might imagine
Until fairly recently most champagne drinkers and even the majority of people involved in the wine trade, associated the name champagne with just a handful of internationally recognised brands. They had little idea about the amazing variety that the Champagne region has to offer.
However, over the past decade or so the quality of the champagnes from some of the smaller producers has begun to be recognised by the leading wine critics and there has been a significant increase in the number of smaller producers who export their champagnes. You’ll discover many of the finest examples in this guide.
Whereas the large brands can source grapes from all over the region to create their blends, in general the smaller champagne makers tend to own vineyards in or around the village where they live and consequently the champagnes they make are much more a reflection of one small area of Champagne.
So whether you are a consumer of champagne, an importer, a seller of champagne or something quite different, understanding the characteristics of the different sub-regions will give you your first clue as to the style of the champagnes that come from there.
In France Fine Wines you’ll find a brief description of each region and sub-region to help you in your search for the champagne that is exactly right for you. As you read the descriptions you can refer to the maps to see precisely where each region is located.
The regions described in France Fine Wines are the same as those used by Champagne’s governing body: the CIVC ( Comité Interprofessionnel des Vins de Champagne) and the regions are based on such factors as the microclimate, the type of sub-soil in each area as well as the exposure to the sun and other things. It’s important to note that they were determined long before people started thinking of using the regions as a way to identify different tastes and style of wine. So, It’s over simplistic to say that the base wines and champagnes that come from each region have a distinct and easily identifiable character that is different from any other and that these characteristics will instantly enable you to tell one champagne from another, however an understanding of each region is a great way to start your discovery of Champagne and to appreciate its amazing diversity.
If you want to learn even more by visiting Champagne, then you’ll be pleased to know that Champagne is the nearest wine making region to Paris and is accessible in just 40 by high speed train (TGV) from Paris Gare de l’Est
There are 4 main regions in Champagne: La Montagne de Reims, La Vallée de La Marne, La Côte des Blancs and La Côte des Bars. Each region can be divided into several smaller areas which share all, or some, of the same characteristics.
Any of the approved Champagne grape varieties can be planted in any region, but broadly speaking Pinot Noir is the dominant grape variety in La Côte des Bars, giving soft and flavourful wines with plenty of body; Chardonnay is by far the most common grape in La Côte des Blancs, as the name implies, and champagnes from this region are described as elegant, feminine and delicate. In La Vallée de La Marne Pinot Meunier is the most widely planted grape and it produces champagnes that are fresh, fruity and easy to drink. Finally La Montagne de Reims is most famous for its Pinot Noirs which give big, powerful champagnes with great structure, but since all three grapes are quite extensively planted in La Montagne de Reims it’s a region where you can find a wide variety of champagne styles.