Huîtres Marennes Oléron Appellation partners with Chablis Wines to raise awareness of Parisian gastronomy in Asia

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CONTENT: Yiew Kai Jie
IMAGE: Huîtres Marennes Oléron

As the demand for classic popular chardonnay wines such as Chablis wine and oysters like the quiteesential Fine de Claire oysters have only gone up, the Groupement Qualité Huîtres Marennes Oléron and the Bourgogne Wine Board have recently joined forces to spread the word about the preservation and enhancement of local French culinary traditions as well as the characteristics of the home products they produce. The companies both play an important role in the promotion and marketing of the products that they represent abroad- especially in the Asian market and both brands are seeking to leverage on their brand presence to be placed on the tables of starred chefs in Asia by 10% by the end of 2022.

Despite the ongoing COVID pandemic In 2021, Asia was a flourishing market for Chablis AOC wines, mostly thanks to exports to Japan, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. In 2021, these 6 markets accounted for 97% of the volume of Chablis wines exported to Asia and the overall production of Chablis wines grew by 30% in volume.

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Chablis is an official designation that can only be given if the wine originates from France and is considered to be one of the prime and purest expression of Chardonnay, of which they are sub-divided into four different categories- the highest quality being the Chablis Grand Cru known for its clean-cut, mildly acidic mineral taste on the palatte which is not only just refreshing but makes it the ideal wine to pair with oysters.

Fin De Claire

All 50 oyster farmers and refiners of the Groupement Qualité Huîtres Marennes Oléron group market their Marennes Oléron PGI Label Rouge oysters for export. It represents 5% of the production volume, nearly 1,000 tons of Marennes Oléron PGI Label Rouge oysters that are exported every year, representing nearly 10 million Euros in revenue. Just like Chablis wine, french oysters are separated into a few categories and most oysters are finished in “claires” that is a recognition of quality at the European level and is a speciality of the Marennes Oleron basin.

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The categories start from the basic Fine De Claire and Fine De Clarie Verte (Green), which slowly increases in quality to the Special De Claire that is known for its plumpy flesh and firm consistency coupled with rich flavour of sweetness balanced out with a lasting saltness on the palette. However, the piece de resistance is the Pousse En Claire, defined as the top-of-the-range oyster and is only produced in a very small quantity by a few specialised professionals in France. The oyster is known for its insanely large amount of flesh and ivory coloured shell with a strong sweet flavour that emates throughout the flesh that leaves a long impression on the palette.

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