Serious crisis for Bordeaux winemakers
The vignerons are asking the government to subsidize the destruction of surplus wine
Bordeaux winemakers are in crisis. Last weekend they asked the French government for financial aid for the grubbing up of vines, in the amount of 10%, in the region with a high wine-growing vocation. The crisis originated from the closures due to the pandemic but the repercussions of the long stop on global commercial networks have continued over time. What brings the Bordeaux vineyards into crisis is the amount of unsold wine with many small producers struggling to survive.
In Bordeaux, the largest AOC certified vineyard in France with 110,000 hectares of which 85% are red wine, it is the less prestigious denominations that are most affected by the collapse in prices and an overproduction estimated at one million hectoliters. Starting from December 2022, various demonstrations by vignerons have been organized to ask the State for "crisis distillation" in order to subsidize the destruction of surplus wine, which from this summer can be transformed into alcohol for industry, pharmacies or cosmetics. The crisis in the sector was at the center, on February 17, of the last national assembly of the Vignobles Indépendants de Gironde union, which brings together around 2,500 winegrowers.
The government, initially deaf to the requests of the winemakers, recently gave the green light to a program to distill excess stocks in 2023, at a cost of around 160 million euros. The last transalpine crisis distillation campaign dates back to 2020: it was organized to help French winemakers eliminate surpluses due to the drop in consumption caused by the covid-19 pandemic.
The problem is enormous given that the consumption of red wine has been declining since the Second World War: at that time the French, on average, drank about 120 liters of wine a year while today they consume just 40 liters a year.
EFA News - European Food Agency