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The government makes progress on Bordeaux’s application for vine pulls

By Vitisphere October 25, 2022
The government makes progress on Bordeaux’s application for vine pulls
As Bordeaux winegrowers are in the midst of racking their promising 2022 vintage wines, firms are hoping for their requests for permanent vine pull to move along quickly. - crédit photo : Ministère de l'Agriculture (le ministre Marc Fesneau au Conseil européen “Agriculture et pêche” à Bruxelles)

uring parliamentary question time on Tuesday 18 October, France’s Minister of Agriculture, Marc Fesneau, reiterated his awareness of the challenges currently experienced by the French wine industry in general, and Bordeaux in particular. The Member of Parliament for Loir-et-Cher differentiated between “structural aspects” (declining consumption of red wines) and “other, short-term aspects” (cash flow pressure, climate change and rising energy costs).

The Minister held a meeting the same day with representatives of the Bordeaux wine industry and local members of parliament to reflect on structural needs. Hosted following a request by Bordeaux majority MP Pascal Lavergne, the videoconference marks a step forward after a first meeting at the Ministry on 3 August. Lavergne called on the Minister to create a working group to make rapid progress, reporting to Vitisphere that Marc Fesneau immediately asked for a working group to be set up at the Gironde prefecture. The challenge is to find a rapid solution in terms of funding: “The Common Market Organisation (CMO) for wine is too complicated to implement rapidly. The suggestion is to work with European funds managed by the regional council (EAFRD scheme)”, explains Lavergne.

The ball is in the local court”, claimed Lavergne, calling on the chairman of the New Aquitaine regional council, Alain Rousset, to review the planned model of EAFRD funds in order to take on board the changing wine situation in Bordeaux. Although the Bordeaux wine industry currently seems to agree on a request for the permanent vine pull of 15,000 hectares at €10,000/hectare (i.e. a budget of €150 million), the MP pointed out that the terms and conditions had yet to be defined and discussed (“What rate? What schedule? For how long?”). Lavergne believes the issue is less about grubbing up than converting vineyard land to meet current needs such as biodiversity, methanisation and plant proteins.

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