Vin de Pays du Jardin de la France, the evocative official name of Vin de Pays from anywhere within the extensive Loire region, is to be replaced by the more prosaic Vin de Pays du Val de Loire. I suppose it's clearer but I will miss that phrase that conjures up the Garden of France.
The Vin de Pays committees have been working overtime. Vin de Pays du Val de Loire joins other new names such as Vin de Pays des Gaules (from the Beaujolais region), Vins de Pays de l'Atlantique (Bordeaux) and Vins de Pays Vignobles de France (from anywhere in France - a highly controversial move, as explained in our article here
). This last one is designed to allow bottlers to blend wines from very different regions together - dancing on the grave of terroir to a certain extent.
Vins de Pays have been selling well however. Sales increased 41% in volume and 36.8% in value between 2000 and 2006. Two thirds of Vin de Pays sold in 2006 were sold in Europe, mainly Germany, the UK, Netherlands and Belgium. In the US, fifth more important export market, sales increased by 12.9% in 2006. By far the most important single Vin de Pays is that from that place called Oc.