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France

There is no denying that the chaotic weather that France endured last year had an impact across all regions of the country.

The 2017 harvest produced the smallest crop since 1945 and most of the major areas were effected in some way, be it from frost, hail or drought. Along with many countries, the fruit that France was given was healthy and ripe in the main, offering good concentration and solid potential alcohol levels indicating a very good vintage in prospect.

We travelled south this year, down to Burgundy, Beaujolais and the Rhone, as well as further afield to refresh our range and welcome some wonderful new producers to our stable.
Domaine de Denante from the Maconnais are rising stars of this increasingly important and interesting sub-region. Elegant and restrained wines that are deliciously drinkable, and also incredible value. Gautier Marion, of Domaine de la Couvette in Beaujolais, has added a further delightful dimension to our portfolio with his traditional approach and aged vines he creates spicy, earthy examples of Beaujolais wrapped around a lovely minerality.  
Heading further south, we discovered the husband and wife run Domaine de Bethete. On clay, limestone soils, full of stones, they manage to produce vigorous wines full of garrigue and spicy fruit, all hand crafted from 35 year old vines.

Our last acquisition is about as far south as you can go and still be French. In the heart of the Mediterrean, Corsica is an island full of paradoxes as Clos Venturi demonstrates sitting high up in the mountains on the island, right at the limits of where winemaking is possible. This fascinating position allows some low intervention wine to be made using local varieties showcasing the distinct terroir of the Corsican landscape.