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Enhancing synergies between the three Provence appellations

By Vitisphere June 18, 2021
Enhancing synergies between the three Provence appellations
“Every time a consumer dies, it's a red wine consumer. And every time a consumer is born, it's a rosé wine consumer!” quips Olivier Nasles. - crédit photo : CIVP

fter twelve years as chair of the Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence producers’ organisation, Didier Pauriol, vice-chair of the Vignerons du Roy René co-operative winery in Lambesc, is handing the torch over to Olivier Nasles. The Provençal winegrower farms 23 hectares of vines at Domaine Camaïssette in Eguilles.


As the new chairman, what will you be prioritising?

Olivier Nasles: My absolute priority, and it’s what I've been advocating for about 30 years, is an overarching vision of Provence through joint ‘management’. Since the surge in exports, this has become particularly important. An American doesn't care one bit whether I am in Côtes de Provence, Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence or Coteaux Varois. So strengthening our collaboration and working with the two other appellation chairs within the regional marketing board CIVP, is really the main priority for my tenure. I would also like to help and support the chairman of Côtes de Provence Eric Pastorino in his new rosé research centre. You could say that he is the project’s natural leader. We've been shilly-shallying for some time and we need to move on to the construction phase. The third project is of course the long-standing issue of removing the word Coteaux from our name. We're the only appellation that hasn't been granted this wish, for reasons that are slightly obscure. I'd like to see the issue – first raised in 2005 under my mother's tenure – achieve closure. Our name is too long and people therefore tend to say Coteaux d'Aix. But obviously, this aim is not viewed as a pivotal achievement that would double sales.


With the pandemic still ongoing, what are the sales prospects for this summer?

Generally speaking, the prospects seem good. We have the largest crop in the history of the appellation with 240,000 hl, which is 20,000 hl more than usual. I am not convinced that we will sell the extra 20,000 hl, but all the marketing board’s indicators are pretty positive. The United States is bouncing back. We will see in July whether we continue to benefit from the suspension of [American] duties, but whatever the outcome, the issue has pushed shipments upwards slightly. At the moment our main concern is logistical problems, and the availability of containers, rather than demand from importers. Northern Europe is performing well. Great Britain did a lot of stockpiling before 31 December so it's a bit calmer now, but last year we experienced a boom there.

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