French wine industry agrees to Cognac extending vineyard area by 3,500 hectares

Friday February 01 2019 by Vitisphere

- Photo credit : Alexandre Abellan

The Cognac appellation has received approval for its application to plant an additional 3,474 hectares from the two national governing industry bodies, INAO in early January, and FranceAgriMer on Wednesday. “It is on the basis of these approvals that the Minister of Agriculture makes a decision”, and signs an order authorising plantings, “and a minister has never been seen to make a decision that goes against these approvals”, explained Alexandre Imbert, director of the AOC Cognac winegrowers’ association (UGVC) to the AFP press agency. Winegrowers and wine merchants expect to file similar applications over the next two years.

We have worked out what we need”, added Alexandre Imbert, explaining that Cognac sales figures are “exceptionally high”, but that due to weather fluctuations, “we have already tapped into stocks from previous years”. In 2018, Cognac sales increased for the fourth consecutive year, with exports up 3.5% by volume (204.2 million bottles shipped) and 2% by value to €3.2 billion.

The Cognac wine region now covers 76,243 hectares, but area under vine reached between 110 and 120,000 hectares in the 1970s, before the oil crisis forced winegrowers to pull up vines in order to get their economy back on track.

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