Bordeaux wines in 'culture' drive

PARIS: The Bordeaux wine lobby is aiming to revive the international standing of some of France's best-known wines by bringing its Bordeaux Wine School to major foreign cities, starting with London and New York.

The lobby group CIVB (Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux) is to franchise the Ecole du Vin de Bordeaux (Bordeaux Wine School), dedicated to education in the culture and appreciation of Bordeaux wine, in 30 cities.

CIVB is eager to arrest the decline in the drinking of Bordeaux wines and claw back some of the ground lost to marketing savvy 'New World' brands.

The wine school has enjoyed success in recent years from the very countries - North American, European and Asian - where Bordeaux sales have been falling.

Last year saw an increase to 31 per cent in the number of people in the UK drinking Australian wine (up from 17 per cent in 1999), according to market research firm Mintel. The proportion of drinkers of South African wine grew from 11 per cent to 16 per cent in the same period. Meanwhile, the number of people drinking French wine fell from 29 per cent to 26 per cent.

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