13 Aug 2004

French Polynesia to export wine to France

5:14 pm on 13 August 2004

French Polynesia's only wine-maker says it will begin exporting to France and the United States within months.

Tahiti's own local wine -- Le Vin de Tahiti -- is is being produced on Rangiroa Atoll in the Tuamotu island chain 300 kilometres from Papeete.

Christina Auroy says they have three varieties of grape and have been producing a small amount of red, white and rose wine for the past decade.

She says the vineyard is the dream of her father, who was convinced a vineyard sandwiched between the ocean and coconut trees could work.

But Christina Auroy says it's been hard work.

"The soil is coral soil; there is nothing on the soil. We have to give to the plant all she needs to grow and it's not easy, because we have to carry it out all by boat and we have... It's very complicated in the Tuamotu Islands."

Ms Auroy says there are two harvests a year, each producing 3000 bottles.

She says they hope to begin exporting to the US in October and France in December.