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Application filed for “Vignobles & Découvertes” wine tourism label

Information updated on 17/02/22

The process launched in 2021 by Montpellier Métropole has already reached its first objective: to spark dynamics between wine professionals, winemakers, and oenotourism players. Here are some testimonials.

Atelier œnotourisme - Rieucoulon ©Maugendre David

Oenotourism - Rieucoulon ©Maugendre David

In late December 2021, Montpellier Métropole filed its application with Atout France for the national “Vignobles & Découvertes” (vineyards and discoveries) wine tourism label. This original step for Montpellier demonstrates its commitment to support oenotourism development in the area and to promote its unique oenocultural assets.
 
Filing the application concludes a full year of work, meetings, and positive exchanges, during which time a real feeling of momentum was established. Montpellier Métropole had a very clear reason for launching this process:

“Everyone is invited to contribute in order to identify our common denominators,” announced Cyril Meunier, Montpellier Métropole’s Vice president in charge of Tourism, Attractiveness, and Conventions, also President of the Tourist Office and Convention Bureau, when the study was started by the Atout Terroir agency.

“We were involved from the very beginning of the process. Montpellier Métropole expected us to help complete the application,” confirms Maguelonne Arghyris, Communication manager for Compagnons de Maguelone, owners of an organic vineyard that employs handicapped people.

The approach was very well received.

 “We must work together. It is essential for us to also participate in the program’s definition and recognition,” adds Diane Losfelt, General Manager of Château de Lengarran.

A collaborative and shared approach

Montpellier Métropole’s choice brought together all the stakeholders involved with wine, growing, and oenotourism in the metropolitan area.
 
Over one hundred people contributed their thoughts and ideas during six workshops organized in June and July, and later in October and November. They focused on wine tourism issues and co-built an oenocultural identity for Montpellier Métropole, with its specifics and unique positioning. A name for the destination - “Destination Vignobles de Montpellier” - emerged as a unifying element for everyone involved.

"Vignobles & Découvertes" : les ateliers avec les professionnels

Strong wine tourism specifics

The Montpellier Métropole area has many oenotourism features that distinguish it from all other destinations bearing the Vignobles & Découvertes label. While the local offering is rich and abundant, with over 60 winegrowers and wine cooperatives, plus hospitality agencies, restaurants, wine merchants, and much more, the Montpellier Métropole is also a place where techniques were invented that revolutionized vine and wine culture, in particular thanks to the vitality of agronomic research, constantly present over the centuries.

“The Hérault department has six territories with the Vignobles & Découvertes label, and each one has its own distinct positioning. The only one missing was the Montpellier Métropole area, which is a historical reference in the art of wine and winegrowing,” summarizes Muriel Pagano, in charge of Publications and Oenotourism at Hérault Tourisme, the Hérault Departmental Council’s tourist office, which publishes a winery map in cooperation with the territories, highlighting their individual personalities. 

A project considered as “essential”

Montpellier Métropole’s assets also deserved to be highlighted. Local professionals in the sector were therefore fully on-board with the concept.

“The Montpellier metropolitan area is filled with vineyards and is home to many emblematic sites. But until now, nothing had really been developed for oenotourism. Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole’s approach is therefore essential,” comments David Satger, founder of Wisud, a Juvignac based hospitality agency specialized in nature and territorial discovery activities.

Encouraging collaborations

By involving professionals in its efforts, Montpellier Métropole also triggered collective dynamics.

“Thanks to Montpellier Métropole, we were able to get to know each other and learn what others are doing. These meetings will make it easier for us to set up collaborations. We will be able to continue building our territory’s cultural and wine tourism appeal,” adds David Satger.

More good news: this collective momentum will be continued and developed, as Montpellier Métropole is preparing new actions for 2022. Keep your eyes open!

What is the Vignobles & Découvertes label?

Created in 2009, the Vignobles & Découvertes label is granted for a duration of three years by Atout France, the agency responsible for developing tourism in France, following the recommendation of the Higher Council of Oenotourism. The label is granted to destinations specializing in tourism and viticulture with multiple and complementary tourism-related offerings (including lodging, restaurants, winery tours and tasting, museums, and events) enabling clients to organize their stays easily and benefit from high-quality services.

Vignobles & Découvertes : la labellisation

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