Montpellier Métropole benefits from wine country that must be protected and promoted. While the area’s history is deeply entwined with its wine culture, the local wine sector and its wine tourism offering are not promoted to their full potential. Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole is seeking to change that by launching a massive study whose goal is to help organize its wine-tourism strategy
Carried out by the agency Atout Terroir
, the study features four phases: understanding the current situation and issues; defining strategic directions; elaborating an action plan; and lastly, preparing Montpellier Métropole’s candidacy for the national Vignobles & Découvertes
(vineyards and discoveries) label. Application for the label will be submitted next December. Each step of the process will include all concerned stakeholders in the metropolitan area. The study is for their benefit.
“The wealth and diversity of our viticulture heritage remain poorly known to the masses. We have ancestral culture, a unique identity, and a territory that is strongly dedicated to high-quality production,” explains Cyril Meunier, Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole Vice President in charge of Tourism, Attractiveness, and Conferences.
Atout Terroir will take an inventory of the most emblematic sites, the wine tourism offering, and stakeholders ranging from wine producers to cooperatives, training centers, wine dealers, and more. Their effort will include food and educational moments covering 60 wine operations and wineries, key sites including France’s first botanical garden
, the world’s largest grape variety collection
, the Pierre Galet experimental vineyard
, Georges Foëx
sculpture at the Faculty of Agriculture, and Montpellier’s Saint-Pierre Cathedral which Bishop Cabrières opened to striking winemakers during the revolt of 1907.
On top of that, local vineyard mansions called “Folies
”, as well as prominent figures: Arnaud de Villeneuve
, creator of the still and discoverer of the blending process
; Jules-Émile Planchon
, Jean-Antoine Chaptal
, the father of “chaptalization” (process of adding sugar to unfermented grape juice)… History of vine and wine permeate the entire Montpellier Métropole territory. Even today, the agronomic research cluster in Montpellier is the second largest in the world.
“Our territory has always been involved with living things, with one particularity: its patchwork of ecosystems provides a rich playing field for biodiversity,” adds Isabelle Touzard, Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole Vice President and Deputy Director of Institut Agro | Montpellier SupAgro.
The cultural profile of the Montpellier Métropole area as a wine tourism destination will therefore be based on that dynamic foundation filled with potential for the future. Stakeholders’ needs will be taken into account through questionnaires and workshops being organized through December.
“Everyone will be able to contribute to the study to help identify our common denominators,” highlights Cyril Meunier.
The work will notably be used to define a wine tourism identity for the Montpellier Métropole area as a destination, as well as to create tours and offerings adapted to families and young people. A 3-year action plan will then be elaborated to turn the metropolitan area into a wine country to discover without moderation. That is why Atout Terroir’s study will culminate with candidacy for the Vignobles & Découvertes label. Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole is thankful for its wines!
Relive the moment...
Video of the study kick-off: