Burgundy is “the French wine region apparently suffering the least”

Friday July 10 2020 by Vitisphere

Despite a very uncertain future, and a shortfall in the bottom line, the decision was made to maintain funding for various development, promotion and technical activities for the coming financial year. Despite a very uncertain future, and a shortfall in the bottom line, the decision was made to maintain funding for various development, promotion and technical activities for the coming financial year. - Photo credit : Juliette Cassagnes

If comments by the chairman of the Burgundy wine marketing board (BIVB), Louis-Fabrice Latour, are anything to go by, Burgundy's wine industry is “not faring too badly” so far. In fact, it is even “the wine region that is apparently suffering the least”, compared in particular to Alsace, Bordeaux and Champagne. The figures were presented at the board’s AGM on Monday 29 June 2020. Exports held up relatively well during the health crisis, with a fall in value of 8 % in April and 12 % in May. France as a whole witnessed a drop in business of around -25 to -30%. “We should end the year with values down by 15 or -20%”, said Latour.

Yes it’s a decline, but one that is reasonable”, summed up Latour, commenting on the level of business during the health crisis. Burgundy does not consider itself out of the woods yet, though: the post-lockdown situation remains challenging, due in particular to the overseas on-premise channel which has yet to recover and the situation in the key United States market, which is still not very promising. Also, the time frame for businesses to properly recover is still very unclear: “We are afraid of a drawn-out crisis, lasting until 2021, or even 2022”, he continued.

Unsold stock for this year will therefore be added to existing inventories, bringing their level to the equivalent of two years' worth of sales. But according to Latour, “Inventories are not excessive”. Hoping to be able to use existing regulatory tools (Individual Complementary Volumes for white wine, yield limitation and a marketing reserve for Crémants), the region’s wine industry has decided not to resort to crisis distillation.

 

 

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