Storage firm refurbishes 15 tanks to hold 190,000 hl of wines from crisis distillation measures

Monday May 25 2020 by Vitisphere

 Preparing for a busy time as crude spirits are shipped out of distilleries, the Port-La-Nouvelle depot is not publicising the cost of rental at its facilities. Preparing for a busy time as crude spirits are shipped out of distilleries, the Port-La-Nouvelle depot is not publicising the cost of rental at its facilities. - Photo credit : Foselev Logistique

The pressure is starting to mount”, admits Yohan Lemaire, director of the Foselev Logistics storage facilities in Port-La-Nouvelle (Aude). As an extensive crisis distillation campaign starts to take shape across France’s wine regions, the Languedoc-based warehouse is at the ready to respond to the needs of customers all over the country, as they rush to empty tanks of wines lacking buyers due to the current coronavirus crisis. Co-operative wineries, groups of winegrowers, distilleries and spirits groups have all worked out that 2 million hectolitres of distilled wine equates to 220,000 hl of spirits.

For the moment there are no written commitments, but storage is a problem that is looming”, claims Lemaire. Whether for industrial or biofuel uses, the lack of outlets for the volumes of wine distilled is a cause for concern. This dearth of commercial prospects has therefore focused the entire wine industry’s attention on the tanks at Foselev Logistiques.

Since mid-April, the depot has been refurbishing 15 stainless steel tanks with a capacity of 15,000 hl. “They cannot be filled to the brim, their actual capacity is 12,500 hl”, explains Lemaire. As it completes the refurbishment of the tanks to bring them up to standard, Foselev has reportedly already invested hundreds of thousands of euros in the resurgence of storage needs for crisis distillation wines. When it bought the depot from FranceAgriMer in 2013, Foselev was not reckoning on any more wine being distilled. The last time it was used for storage was twelve years ago, during the previous wine crisis.

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