If you are looking to expand or liven up your French wine range going into 2024 then Business France has two dedicated opportunities for you. First is its Marketplace platform that allows buyers to access thousands of wines from producers who are looking to export and get a listing in the UK for the first time. Broken down by a variety, AOC or region it truly is a one stop shop for French wine. Then there is its VIN wine tasting event taking place in London on February 1 featuring around 50 producers. Here’s how to take advantage of both.
Business France’s Pandora Mistry and Claire Prothon explain how they hope its Marketplace platform and VIN tasting can help busy UK wine buyers find new French wines for their businesses.
What makes this Business France Marketplace website potentially so useful for wine buyers and professionals?
Claire Prothon: This marketplace is like no other. Trade professionals can register for free and then search through a huge array of French wines at every main price point that are available on the site. You can then ask to be sent samples to taste and analyse and also send messages and ask questions directly to any of the producers you are interested in working with.
How many wines are there on the Marketplace by Business France?
Pandora Mistry: There are over thousands of wines listed from all the main wine producing regions of France [current listing shows over 12,000 wines and over 8,000 spirits]. What is particularly attractive for serious buyers of French wine is that all the producers with wines listed on the site are looking to export and we have more winemakers and producers signing up every day.
What regions of France are covered?
Mistry: The Marketplace has been set up to represent and cover all the French wine regions and appellations. Its has been designed so that users can either search for a specific grape variety they are interested in, style of wine, be it still or sparkling, or they can explore a particular AOC, or wine region, down to the name of an individual producer they have heard of.
Does it cost anything to use the Marketplace by Business France?
Prothon: Not at all. It’s free for anyone in the wine trade to use. There are also no registration or joining fees for producers and no hidden fees in their list prices.
How long has the Marketplace been open?
Mistry: It was first introduced in 2018, but has been through a number of changes since then and has just been rebranded and improved going into 2024. So if you have used it before it is well worth coming back to see what improvements and advances have been made to the site now.
How does the Marketplace by Business France fit into your overall strategy?
Prothon: The Marketplace acts as a bridge between buyers and producers. It’s an efficient way to connect trade professionals with quality French wines.
So if you need an alternative supplier in a pinch or want to benchmark a product or request a sample the Marketplace by Business France is where you need to go.
Tell us about the work you do for French wine at Business France?
Mistry: Our main focus is to help French wine producers that are looking to enter the UK and Irish markets. We run trade tastings and can offer them advice on the market and how it works and what are the steps they need to take in order to give them the best chance of finding a listing.
For example, on February 1 we have 50 French producers coming to London to take place at our VIN wine tasting event at the Hyatt Hotel on Portland Square for a trade tasting. This follows our inaugural VIN event in 2023 and this year we will have wines and producers from over 45 AOCs. As well as the French producers we will also have five key UK wine importers exhibiting including Charles Taylor Wines, Daniel Lambert Wines, Vignerons et Producteurs de France and Wine Story. It promises to be a unique opportunity for buyers, importers, distributors, and sommeliers to explore a fully comprehensive range of wines from across France.
Prothon: We are also launching VIN in Ireland in October 2024. We also host French producers at other UK wine tastings and events throughout the year. We also source wines to spec for anyone in the trade looking for a particular wine.
Are you at Wine Paris in February?
Pandora: Yes, Business France has a stand at Wine Paris and we work closely with the organisers and the other French stands. These events are crucial for networking, showcasing the marketplace, and supporting French wine on an international stage.
Anything else to say?
Mistry: To make sure you have the best French wines pop along to VIN on February 1 and use Marketplace by Business France at your leisure to discover hundreds more.