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Wednesday, 16 July 2008

MERCURE HOTELS GIVE VISITORS A REAL TASTE OF NSW WITH LAUNCH OF SPECIALIST NSW ‘GRANDS VINS’ WINE LIST

Visitors to NSW will now be able to get a real taste of the State with the launch of “Grands Vins Mercure”, a new specialist wine list that showcases some of the most attractive wines from NSW – at equally attractive prices.

It is part of a national launch of Mercure Grands Vins, which has seen State-based specialist wine lists produced for NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia.

Mercure is the first hotel group in Australia to develop such a range of regionally-based wine lists, designed to give visitors an introduction to the distinctive characteristics of each State’s wines.

The new NSW Mercure Grands Vins selection is available at Mercure Sydney, Mercure Sydney Airport and Mercure Parramatta.

Wines come principally from vineyards in the Hunter Valley region, recognised as NSW’s premier wine area, but also from Tumburumba, Mudgee and Canberra.

NSW’s famed semillon, chardonnay and shiraz varietals are heavily featured in the selection, along with verdelho and merlot based wines.

Accor Regional General Manager NSW, Mark Ronfeldt, said that the launch of the NSW wine list was not only significant for the local wine industry, but also for the State’s tourism industry.

“When visitors come to NSW they want to get an appreciation of the destination in many ways, and particularly through our wine and cuisine,” said Mr Ronfeldt.

“Strangely, whereas hotels in most other States tend to champion their local wines, in NSW that is not generally the case. NSW has a long and distinguished history as a world-class wine producer and many of the State’s regions – such as the Hunter Valley and Mudgee – have built a substantial tourism industry around their wine reputation, so we believe it is time for hotels and restaurants to show greater support for NSW wines. We want our guests to get a real taste of the State, even if they don’t get the opportunity to visit the vineyards.

“Mercure hotels have always positioned themselves as the ‘keys to the region’, providing an authentic taste of the city or the region in which they operate, so the Grands Vins selection is a perfect addition to the brand’s offering.

“What is really important with the Grands Vins wine list is the pricing. We want to dispel the myth that good wine is only associated with high-end restaurants and high-end prices. Mercure’s Grands Vins shows it is possible to enjoy great wines – many from smaller vineyards - at very attractive prices, by both the glass and by the bottle.”

Wines are available from $6 by the glass and $31 by the bottle.

Every wine offered has been selected by an expert tasting panel comprising sommeliers, wine connoisseurs and food and beverage professionals, and, importantly, final judging was conducted with appropriate food courses to ensure the wines are “food friendly”. Some 80% of wine sold at Mercure hotels is consumed with food, so compatibility with food was a major judging criteria.

The Grands Vins wine list is designed to make wine selection easier, grouping wines in four particular styles – fresh and tasty; fruity and light; balanced & elegant and spicy and full bodied – to help guests choose the most suitable wine for every occasion and for every dish, while introducing wines from a range of distinctive wineries that guests might not otherwise have a chance to experience.

To support the Grands Vins offer, each Mercure has trained a group of wine waiters (Echanson in French) to provide assistance to guests with their wine selection in an approachable and less formal manner. To provide the service, Accor’s own Academie Accor has developed specific wine education programmes in conjunction the Australian Wine Corporation, with four nationally recognised competency levels available to service staff.

The Mercure Grands Vins regional lists complement each hotel’s standard wine list, which together provide a comprehensive range of Australian wines. Mercure Grands Vins was first introduced in France in 1983, and the programme celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Grands Vins lists are available in 20 countries around the world.

Within Accor, Mercure embodies the hospitality know-how that makes every stay unique.

For both business and leisure travels, the 758 Mercure hotels form a family united around common values: the specific personality of each establishment, the quality of the attention reserved to each client, its cultural reflection of the city and the region, the Grands Vins Mercure…

Comfort, service quality and hospitality are the foundations of the reputation of all Mercure hotels in 49 countries. For more information go to www.mercurehotels.com

Accor, the European leader and a major global group in hotels, the global leader in services to corporate clients and public institutions, operates in nearly 100 countries with 170,000 employees. It offers to its clients over 40 years of expertise in its two core businesses:

- Hotels, with the Sofitel, Pullman, Novotel, Mercure, Suitehotel, Ibis, all seasons, Etap Hotel, Formule 1 and Motel 6 brands, representing more than 4,000 hotels and nearly 500,000 rooms in 90 countries, as well as strategically related activities, such as Lenôtre.

- Services, with 30 million people in 40 countries benefiting from Accor Services products in human resources, marketing services and expense management.

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