First AOC wine in a can released in France





They are famously averse to bottling wines with screw caps or rubber corks yet one winemaker in the Languedoc-Roussillon has broken one of France’s great winemaking taboos by releasing his latest vintage in cans.

While it’s likely to make traditionalists recoil in anger, winemakers at Château de l'Ille launched the three can concept, with the colour of the rim corresponding to the type of wine inside, at the Vinexpo conference in Bordeaux.

"We want to become the Nespresso of wine," Cédric Segal, co-founder of the company behind the innovation, Fabulous Brands, told French daily Le Figaro.

The forward-thinking move is an attempt to appeal to a younger generation of wine drinkers and the small, easily transportable 187ml cans will retail at an estimated €2.50 each.

"They don't consume wine in the same way as their elders do, but they are equally demanding about quality," Winestar said in a statement. "They particularly like having a drink in places that correspond to their nomadic party lifestyle - a picnic on the beach, a walk in the forest, or even when you snatch a bite to eat on the hoof."

The winemaking team is being led by Pol Flandroy, who has more than three decades of experience and in excess of 200 medals testifying to his viticultural expertise.
Winestar have managed to get Ball Packaging Europe to manufacture the can and protect the Chateau d'Ille wines with an additional layer on the inside to protect the wines’ unique flavour profile.

The canned red is entitled Cuvée Andréas, the white is a Cuvée Emilie and the Cuvée Alexandre rosé is reputedly characterised by luscious red-fruit notes.

According to Winestar’s official website: “The aluminium can is the perfect packaging, as it is air and light-tight. Winestar® uses the worldwide patented Vinsafe® technology, the only can packaging approved by two Masters of Wine. This technology ensures the perfect stability of the wine in the can thanks to a specific coating, the result of years in R&D, which isolates the wine from the metal.”

Although tinned wine is already hugely popular in Japan and Germany, less than 1% of the domestic market in France is sold in tins and none of these carry the prestigious AOC label.

Plans are already in place to expand the range later this year to include wines from some of France’s most iconic wine regions, most notably Burgundy, Bordeaux and the Côtes du Rhône.

Wine marketing specialist Galatée Faiver intimated the move was a bold one and perhaps more of a “gimmick” than a concerted effort to alter the buying habits of wine drinkers in France.

“French wine will continue to be dominated by two types of container – glass bottles for quality and wine boxes [normally containing a three-litre plastic bag] for bulk sales,” Faiver told Europe 1 radio.

“Cans may work in some cases, such as for picnics or in train buffet cars, but mostly this is just a gimmick. Also, the cans do give the wine a vaguely metallic flavour.”
 
 
 
 
 

Written by: Ben Moss

Ben Moss 

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