Quality pays off for Pays d’Oc producers

Thursday September 07 2017 by Vitisphere

- Photo credit : DR

Despite what wine growers in Pays d’Oc considered to be their ‘annus horibilis’, the 2016-2017 marketing year for bulk wines turned out not to be as gloomy as expected. Overall, volume sales of PGI Pays d’Oc were down 10.5% compared with the previous, bumper year – when 13.6 mhl were produced – whilst value sales declined by 5.6%. However trade board InterOc puts these figures into perspective by referring to previous years. The board reveals that 5,077,881 hl were marketed, which is close to the five-year average of 5.2 mhl based on the period from 2010/2011-2014/2015. The volume shortfall for 2016-2017 therefore stands at 120,000 hl according to InterOc, whose analysis shows that Languedoc’s flagship is not taking on water, rather it is returning to more normal sales levels after the bumper crop of 2015 and resultant surge in volumes.

Nevertheless, there is no denying the significant declines in volumes and values of some categories. The whites are a cause for concern, particularly the Chardonnays and the Sauvignons which have fallen respectively by 14.1% and 15.5% by volume. Rosés from Grenache and Cinsault are also struggling.

Quality issues

So why such inconsistencies with normality for some and strong concerns for others? The response from producers, brokers and shippers alike is that quality issues are at the core of the matter. “The reason why some producers experienced marketing problems in 2016-2017 was due to quality. We are faced with a major problem where producers are not making the grade when it comes to yields and value for money is not in tune with market requirements”, was the categorical comment by broker Jean-Marc Le Méhauté.


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