French w(h)ines
Posted by aogThursday, 07 November 2002 at 13:06 TrackBack Ping URL

This is from the Economist, 5 Oct 2002 edition, page 47.

Faced with the unpalatable prospect of destroying 10m liters of unsold Beaujolais wine - the equivalent of around 13m bottles - Maurice Large, president of the Beaujolais winegrowers' association, has accused modern wine-buyers of being "philistines". On a recent trip to Australia he explained that "many new wine-drinkers are attracted to Australian or Argentine labels because they know no better than to treat wine like Coca-Cola".


There were violent demonstrations in southern France earlier this year as winemakers took to the streets to protest against falling wine prices. Burgundy's winegrowers also staged furious protests at their annual meeting in July. Pierre-Henry Gagey of the Burgundy winemakers' association, striking a more realistic note, told local growers to improve their wines' quality. New World producers, he said, "make very good wine at very good prices". He was heckled and booed for his candour.


But France's winegrowers have a clever solution too. Earlier this year their association sued the government over its campaign against drunk driving.