THE Sud de France marque has been adopted by wine producers from Languedoc-Roussillon and is designed to give British customers a key to unlock the French wine mystery.
For years people have been confused by the Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) system which helped those in the industry, but acted as a barrier to the general public when buying a bottle of wine.
With this in mind the region's four wine trade bodies worked together to create the Sud de France umbrella brand as a way to highlight those wines which represented the region and were good value for money.
Grouped together under this umbrella brand are some Appellation d’origine contrôlée wines plus an extensive range of vin de pays and varietal wines, including red, white, rose and sparkling with prices ranging from around £3 to £30.
British producers based in Languedoc-Roussillon will also benefit, as those who made the move across to manage vineyards in the region gain support from the work of Sud de France.
Jon and Elizabeth Bowen, who own Domaine Sainte Croix in the Corbieres area near Perpignan, said: "Thanks to the team behind the Sud de France brand we've been able to reach markets that would otherwise have been logistically and financially difficult to work with.
"The Sud de France brand has the advantage of representing not only a recognisable area but also a great diversity of products from that area."
Even some famous French names are backing the Sud de France brand with Gérard Depardieu, who in partnership with winemaker Bernard Magrez, owns vines in the village of Aniane, north west of Montpellier.
Wine producers will have to apply on an annual basis to use the Sud de France marque and you will be able to see it on bottles in a number of selected supermarkets and wine merchants.
Website: Sud de France (currently in French only)