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I’ve downloaded the French language app to my iPhone and buried my nose in more than a few articles on organic wine. Next week I’ll be attending the 19th Millesime Bio wine trade show on organic wines in Montpellier, France.

The Millesime Bio brings together wineries and members of the worldwide distribution network in a private trade fair. This year organizers expect 600 exhibitors from countries all over the world, drawing some of the world’s leading wholesalers, brokers, wine merchants, sommeliers, caterers, and importers.

And like any such show, there will be a small number of wine journalists there as well. I will be attending, with a group of Northern European wine journalists, as guests of The Inter-professional Association of Organic Wines from Languedoc-Roussillon.

France’s often overlooked Languedoc-Roussillon region, in southern France, is one of the leading organic grape-growing areas in the world. The region has 50,000 hectares under organic prodcution in 2010. That’s 124,000 acres for you non-metric types.

Exhibitors pouring their wines will come from all over the world. The annual gathering also includes presentations and talks on organic wine laws and growing practices.

I’ll have more later in the week. But I do intend to update throughout my time in France on Twitter, Facebook, and nightly updates here.

I’m blessed to have Veronique Raskin of The Organic Wine Company in San Francisco and Paul Chartrand of Chartrand Imports helping make the trip possible and arranging a few big highlights. The conference runs Jan. 23-25, but Raskin and Chartrand have arranged for me to visit three wineries on Thursday of that week before returning. I’ll visit with founders of the Languedoc organic movement and the AIVB president.

It’s quite exciting to visit southern France and be immersed in the worldwide discussion on organically grown grapes.

Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com