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New life in Old World: from the German Wine Marketing initiative to a celebration of the Pays d'Oc, the Old World is determined to keep a high profile. (Show Preview).

The recent wine trade buzz has been all about the fast-rising New World producers such as Australia and California, and it's easy to forget that the Old World countries of Europe still have plenty of fans and loads of new activity to show the market.

Both Sopexa--which promotes the various French regions--and the German Wine Information Service have instigated marketing competitions in recent years to showcase the best activity emerging from those countries.

The results of this year's German Wine Marketing Initiative will be announced on the German Wine Pavilion on the first day of the fair. Previous initiatives have helped 10 producers of modern style German wines gain UK listings and have awarded funding to 13 new products.

This year's winning winemakers will be on hand to talk about their products and how they see German wine progressing.

There'll also be a chance to see how the Old World is stacking up against the new in a series of joint Riesling tastings being held by the German Wine Institute and the Australian Wine Bureau. On the German Wine Pavilion, there'll be a Retailer's Choice table, featuring wines that have been specially selected from the 2002 vintage for off-trade buyers.

GWIS director Nicky Forrest says: "German wine is gaining important ground in the mid-price 3.50 [pounds sterling] to 5.50 [pounds sterling] part of the market.

"We have been working closely with producers to develop wines that are suitable for the British market.

"We have also been working to reverse consumer perceptions about German wine."

No French region has worked harder at the wine fair on changing perceptions over the past few years than Cotes du Rhone, and this year it will have a 150 sq m stand, including newcomers from the Rhone Valley appellations of Coteaux de Tricastin, Cotes du Luberon, Costieres de Nimes and Cotes du Ventoux.

These regions will feature in one of two central tasting areas, the other showcasing Cotes du Rhone and Cotes du Rhone Villages wines.

Other generic French activity includes a tasting of wines from 18 Alsace producers taking place in Excel's Waterfront rooms on the Wednesday of the exhibition.

Vin de Pays d'Oc is celebrating the first anniversary of the `It's all happening in the dOclands' promotional campaign with a table football tournament and party.

Among the individual supplier activity, Bordeaux producer Yvon Mau will be exhibiting its revamped Premius brand. The supplier aims to "reassure an occasionally sceptical wine trade that real value can be found in Bordeaux between 5 [pounds sterling] and 7 [pounds sterling]".

Other European countries will be out in force, with plenty of Spanish activity at the show

Utiel-Requena producer Bodegas Murviedro will be showcasing new wines through its agent Buckingham Vintners. The producer is using modern, New World-influenced techniques to improve wine quality, but dedicating itself to coaxing interesting and accessible wines from traditional indigenous grape varieties.

Commercial director Andreas Kubach describes the Travitana Old Vines Monastrell from the Alicante DO, retailing at 4.99 [pounds sterling], as "a huge, juicy wine with deep colour and velvety tannins, much in line with what customers expect today from a new wave Spanish red".

The producer is also introducing what is claimed to be the first wine in the world to be made from the Moscatel de Alejandria grape variety using carbonic maceration.

This is an alternative fermentation method in which the fruit are allowed to ferment spontaneously under a protective layer of carbon dioxide, usually resulting in softer wines.

The wine, from the Valencia DO, is being sold as Dry Muscat as part of the Santerra range, whose 3.99 [pounds sterling] Utiel-Requena Tempranillo has new listings with Sainsbury and Morrisons.

Myliko Wines is exhibiting a new organic Tempranillo from Granduc in La Mancha with an expected retail price of 3.99 [pounds sterling].
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Publication:Grocer
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Apr 26, 2003
Words:638
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