Sunday, August 5, 2007

Draining the Wine Lake

. Sunday, August 5, 2007

I don't know why I am on this wine theme, but... The EU is striving to reduce the surplus wine ("the wine surplus for the whole of the EU could hit 24.8 million hectoliters, or 655 million gallons, or 13.9 percent of total production, by 2011-2012").

It seems that wine prices are falling and the EU is striving to encourage consolidation in the industry. The quote most likely to rankle (from one of the "mass production" wineries): "The trade in wine is like the trade in Coca-Cola or in washing powder." (So, maybe Californian wine will be far better than French wine in the near future after all).

The effort has mobilized a fairly radical group determined to defend the traditional small producer. "The French agriculture minister, Michel Barnier, has described parts of the proposal as "madness" and promises to oppose it. Protests have arisen, ranging from marches and demonstrations to unspecific but ominous threats from a group of militants to take further action if the price of wine does not rise." The group in question has detonated one small explosive at one of the new producers.

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Draining the Wine Lake
 
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