French Wine Imports up 13 Percent in U.S., Says French Group

NEW YORK -- Due to the combined efforts of many players in the French wine industry and American consumers, the latest export figures for French wines to the United States last year showed a 13 percent rise in volume and 22 percent leap in value over 2006, according to Wines of France, the U.S. trade name for the French National Office for Fruit, Vegetables, Wine and Horticulture (l'Office National Interprofessionnel des Fruits, des Legumes, des Vins et de l'Horticulture).

Additionally, Wins of France said the regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Provence, and Cotes du Rhone are experiencing double-digit volume growth, which the organization attributes to such campaigns as its "Spring into French Wines" campaign.

The program is launching its third year of U.S. promotions this spring and summer.

For the first time this year, "Spring into French Wines" will run in seven key markets from May through July: the New York metro area; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; south Florida; and California, plus the two new markets of Texas and Massachusetts, with an overall budget of $1.5 million.

Two hundred points-of-sale will take part in the campaign, which will offer in-store tastings and additional integrated promotions scheduled. The top stores in each market receive a visit from a campaign spokeswoman Sheri Sauter Moreno, Master of Wine, or a Wines of France ambassador to train the staff and interact with consumers.

The 2007 initiative will also feature radio ads, distributor incentive programs, and a massive e-marketing campaign, as well as a partnership with the "America the Beautiful Fund," to which a percentage of the sales of French wines in the key markets will be donated, for a total of $30,000 this year, and the update of Wines of France's U.S. Web site,, which features Sauter Morano's list of "Top 40 Wine Picks," in addition accompanying food pairings.

Wines of France promotes French wines through public relations, trade and consumer wine tastings, education, wine seminars, advertising, Web presence, and nontraditional marketing events.
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