• The largest vineyard in France in area, 100,000 hectares, is in structural overproduction.

  • The interprofession believes that the uprooting of certain plots of vines could be a way to deal with the crisis, if other wine regions follow the same path.

  • An audit will be carried out to make an inventory of the plots, and identify the vines that are not cultivated or "outstanding".

It's a pretty drastic solution.

The Interprofession des Vins de Bordeaux (CIVB) pleaded Monday, during its general assembly, for the public financing of the definitive uprooting of the vines, seen as "one of the avenues" which would help the Bordeaux region, in overproduction, to get out of the crisis.

“European texts do not currently allow [this funding].

They must be changed”, declared Bernard Farges, the president of the CIVB.

"The representatives of Bordeaux viticulture are only asking to be able to arbitrate within European Union aid between restructuring, cellar investments and uprooting", he added.

"We are the only wine region" to bring this idea of ​​financing the uprooting, estimated at 2,000 euros / hectare, to the state authorities but "as long as a single vineyard carries it, we have no chance of succeed", he assured, regretting that other regions in difficulty do not speak about the subject more "openly".

An audit to know the state of the vineyard

He underlined that the “uncultivated vines”, the “suffering vineyards”, concrete stigmata of the difficulties of certain operators, were “not good for the image” of the region nor in terms of health.

The CIVB has launched an audit to find out the extent of this.

According to the president of the Federation of great wines of Bordeaux Jean-Marie Garde, the “areas planted in Gironde are too large” and “a part must have another destination” than the vine.

“There is an urgent need to find solutions,” he continued.

At a press conference, the vice-president of the CIVB Allan Sichel evoked the idea that "surfaces in AOC [controlled designation of origin] could be reoriented in IGP [protected geographical indication]" to make wines "simpler, easier" that would better correspond to new consumer habits.

Many “red flags”

Among the other subjects of concern mentioned: the age pyramid of the profession – 60% of Bordeaux winegrowers will be over 60 in the next five years – and doubts about the ability of certain winegrowers to repay loans guaranteed by the State (PGE) granted during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Overall, Bernard Farges estimated that there were many "warning signals" for the Bordeaux region because of the "gap between the current level of production and our level of marketing", despite a rebound in outings to the property ( 4.2 million hectoliters, +9%) and exports (+15%).

Bordeaux is the leading AOC vineyard in France with more than 100,000 hectares cultivated and 600 million bottles produced per year.


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