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An international springboard for the Montpellier area’s wine cluster

Information updated on 05/08/22

Montpellier Métropole and the city of Montpellier recently joined forces with six major partners to create a cluster of international cities for wine and spirits*. Their goal is to generate global exposure for local wines.

Vin de la Métropole de Montpellier ©3M
Montpellier Métropole wines on the world stage. Montpellier Métropole and the city of Montpellier just launched a new cluster of global cities specializing in wine and spirits, together with Cork, Ireland (Whisky); Logroño, Spain (wine, capital of Rioja); Tokaï, Hungary (wine, the famous appellation); Marsala, Italy (wine, the famous appellation); Qionglai, China (alcohol and wine, one of the most renowned Baijiu liquors), Tajimi, Japan (Sake, ceramic Sake-ware).
This cluster will serve as a strong booster for the Wine Cluster, whose objective is to reaffirm the position traditionally held by the greater Montpellier area in wine production and wine-making progress at an international level. Launched in November 2021, the program includes the creation of the Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole Wine Council.

“Wine is part of Montpellier’s DNA, part of our historical, cultural, and natural legacy. Winegrowers are the architects of our landscapes, particularly in a metropolitan area where our garden is made of grapevines,” says Michaël Delafosse, Mayor of Montpellier and President of Montpellier Métropole.

The Wine Cluster is a collaboration that involves absolutely all the concerned stakeholders. This includes not only the wine industry, but also the retail sector, wine tourism professionals, heritage and culture professionals, water professionals, academics, and others. It is designed to unite these groups around a structuring project to promote economic development and offer a central point of contact for wine industry players.

“The Wine Cluster’s entire purpose is to provide a framework for this excellence sector and promote it both nationally and internationally. Montpellier Métropole has all the resources needed to assert its position as a wine capital, just like Bordeaux, Dijon, and Mâcon, with an identity all its own,” adds Michaël Delafosse.

Following the initiative of Montpellier Métropole, the metropolitan area was awarded the Vignobles & Découvertes label last March, marking the success of a collective effort that had been launched a year earlier with stakeholders involved with wine, vineyards, and wine tourism.
The Wine Cluster will help Montpellier wines implement their international strategy: in China, where they have already established a presence; in Germany, where prospecting began in 2021; in England; in Denmark, etc. Among its missions, the cluster will provide support for academic players, including Montpellier Vine & Wine Sciences, and will address a number of strategic issues, such as actions to be taken in response to climate change, notably grape variety choice, water management, and other considerations.
In addition, Montpellier Métropole made sure to be present at the most recent International Agricultural Fair held at Paris Expo last March. It was the first time the future cluster attended the fair, based at the Hérault Departmental Council’s stand under the Occitanie Region pavilion. Montpellier Métropole will have its own booth in 2023.
Another first. With support from the Languedoc AOP, the Wine Fair (funded by Montpellier Métropole, the city of Montpellier, Hérault Departmental Council, and Occitanie Region), was held on May 2 and 3, 2021, at the Corum Conference Center in Montpellier, attracting 350 exhibitors. The event was open exclusively to professionals. The success of the event encouraged city and metropolitan authorities to commit themselves to future editions.
Lastly, a large international project financed by Montpellier Métropole, the European Union and Occitanie Region will emerge in 2025: the creation of the Institut de la Vigne et du Vin (Vine and Wine Institute), supported by University of Montpellier and Institut Agro Montpellier.
The greater Montpellier area is a major wine-producing region, with deep roots in its history and a strong focus on the future.
* Excessive alcohol consumption is dangerous for your health. Please drink in moderation.