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01 December 2006

Fitou splits from Languedoc

This story was posted on www.decanter.com on 1/12/2006.

The entire Fitou appellation and its producers have left the CIVL, the regional association of Languedoc wineries. When revealing export marketing budgets at the CIVL’s AGM in Narbonne, Fitou’s letter of resignation was also conspicuously on the agenda.

The move towards a single, united wine trade federation called Inter-Sud - combining CIVL, CIVR (Roussillon), Inter-Oc (vin de pays d’Oc) and ANIVIT (vins de pays & table) - has been too slow for some members. The concept of managing and promoting the whole region as ‘South of France’ was agreed a year ago and the Inter-Sud charter signed in June this year. Jean-Marc Astruc, Fitou winegrowers’ president, commented: “If we want to do this, we have to do it quickly. Everyone is talking about unity but people are dragging their feet.” Katie Jones, export manager at Mont Tauch, the progressive co-operative based in Tuchan and major player in Fitou production, added: “we’re committed to South of France, it’s a fantastic idea. The CIVL was just one level too much…”
“The reason why Fitou left is because what we were paying in was too much compared to what we got out of it,” clarified Astruc. “The administrative structure was too expensive and Fitou wasn’t very visible,” he added. “South of France is simple, clear and easier for the consumer. There’s no point in paying to complicate.” Philippe Coste, CIVL president, endorsed reducing the timescale: “we must make this happen over the next year, especially with the Languedoc regional AOC; how can we if we’re still each doing our own thing?”

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Header image: Château de Flandry, Limoux, Languedoc. Background: Vineyard near Terrats in Les Aspres, Roussillon.