We have never followed the flock in our search for interesting wines, and of course no other country is better represented on our market than France, and quite deservedly so. But I could not imagine life as a serious wine importer without the constant reminder of the vinous richness of France (I tried it once for three long years…) and all the reference points for other countries’ wines are here. We are told France has struggled in recent years, and of course it can produce utter dross. It is certainly true that France has been slow to respond to the marketing challenge laid down by the new countries. But there are some wines of sensational quality everywhere in the country and because of the enormity of scale of France, there is a phenomenally rich and dynamic wine culture to discover.