Tuesday, 9 September 2008


In the Sunday Times I read that Nicolas Sarkozy is looking at English city centres and especially Croydon in order to plan and develop areas of Paris!!! Bonne chance Monsieur Sarkozy. Maybe he ought to start closer to home. Montpellier is the delightful capital of the Herault department and capital of the Languedoc Roussillon region. It is very clean, it has a fabulous functional tram. It has modern architecture that blends seemlessly with the older styles. It has .....a very good university, a very good medical school, major international business (Dell are one of the largest employers) a clean and efficient airport, a half decent football team, a very good and young rugby team playing in the Top 14 division in a fantastic new stadium (built for the Rugby World Cup last year).And.....Montpellier is c 15 minutes from the beach. It took me 8 minutes from the motorway to get to the centre of town AND find a parking space within 100 metres of my meeting place! I am looking forward to being in London later this week!!!!
The reason for my visit was to explore promotional possibilities for the 'Sud de France' brand with some of the French governmental export associations. It is great that the whole Languedoc Roussillon wine and food area is uniting behind a simple and evocative banner such as Sud de France. Unfortunately the meeting has resulted in loads more work!! But hopefully we shall see a positive result for 2009.
After the meeting it was great to catch up with Matthew Stubbs MW and find out more about his new Vinecole project. We are surrounded by fabulous wine and food in the South of France but two areas that need expanding are wine education and wine tourism. Matthew has just started his wine education school and I plan to visit soon.

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