EU Australia Online - News & information from the capital of Europe direct to Australian businesses

Different Signals From The Vineyards And Wineries In France

  • June 19th, 2007
  • Posted by EUEditor

grapes.jpgWine industry leaders in France say they have started making a come-back while farmers in some parts of the country say they’re in serious difficulty and need special help.

Professionals in the wine business have been pronounced “more serene” attending this year’s international wine exhibition at Bordeaux (Vinexpo, 17-21.6.07).

They are quoted in the leading newspaper Le Monde as preparing to get back some significant world market share, due to several factors including a 25% drop in value of production in Australia from last year.

Other factors are still-increasing world consumption of wine, and an easing in the fall in consumption within France itself.

French exports grew 2.6% last year, and while it is admitted that was largely at the higher end (champagne, cognac, “grand vins” from Bordeaux) where “New World” producers still “cannot get out of the shadow of France”, makers of more mortal qualities of wine have been reporting sales increases also.

According to Le Monde they are seeing the first benefits of more industrialised marketing, with new products and labels being offered to “stand up well against those like America’s Gallo or Australia’s Jacob’s Creek.”

It says French export were badly handled while “New World” producers like Australia, Argentina and the United States made their chief incursions, rising from 1.68% to global market share of 27.8% over 25 year.

France’s share is reported to have stabilised, at 18%.


Farmers in the Languedoc – Roussillon region of the country’ South-west will have none of this.

A producers’ organisation has plonked down a case before the government, demanding that it engineer higher prices to keep them in business.

The region is one that cannot sell all that it produces and has been tagged for a “grubbing up” program by the European Commission; the plan to take large areas out of production with financial assistance to growers who join the scheme while it is open.

In the Languedoc there have been protests including a graffiti campaign against wholesalers or restaurants considered “middlemen” taking too much, and even hijackings of trucks carrying product from time to time – with threats of more such “direct action” in the wind.

Reference: “Les participant au salon Vinexpo de Bordeaux decelent les signes de sortie de crise: le vin francaise se met a l’heure de la mondialiation“(Participants in Vinexpo at Bordeaux see signs they are coming out of the crisis; French wine production ready for globalisation of the market); Le Monde, Paris, 17-18.6.07, p 12

Picture: Google,