Mondovino Inspires Violence

A group of whacked out French vintners in the Languadoc who would point to the Film "Mondovino" as inspiration have done more damage with dynamite.

Yes you read that right. Dynamite

According to reports, a group has formed made up of French vintners upset that the government isn’t doing more to help with the fact that French exports of wine has fallen and about the oversupply of French wine. The French government has already allocated 70 million Euros to aid vintners who are having a difficult time adapting to the idea of global competition and their own overvalued sense of selfworth. So how do they protest.

In mid March the group bombed the cellar of La Baume, the largest exporter of French wine, apparently associating the organization with "globalization". Perhaps these are the heroes director Jonathon Nossiter so kindly put on display in the film Mondovino.

Yesterday the same group carried out bomb attacks on various targets in Montpellier, Carcassonne and Nimes. The group calls itself (Comité regional d’action viticole–Translation: Regional committee of wine action) and scrawled their dirty name on buildings

I call them the MITs:Mondovino Inspired Terrorists.

The only way bombs are going to help the French wine industry is if they are thrown into the vineyards with the aim of destroying those vines that serve to produce insipid wine produced by vintners who think their nationality is enough to insure sale of their over priced, underqualified wines.

March has been a month of protest in southwestern France. In addition to the violent actions of the French Whiners, a large protest march was staged on March 9 in Montpellier, again protesting the 70 Million Euros allocated to aid French vintners and growers.

How can a country with the foremost reputation in the world for producing great wines and with so much winemaking history, and with so many amazing grape growing regions find itself in such trouble that bombs have begun to fly and where many vintners believe their future depends upon the government giving out literally millions and millions of Euros in aide?

I think the answer is in part, hubris. When in the face of a radically changing global market place you simply put your hands over your face and say, "it does not matter, we are French and everyone will always buy French wine," you prevent yourself from adapting and taking the kind of action that is necessary to stay competitive.

Jonathon Nossiter, the director of Mondovino, the ridiculous documentary on the affects of globalization on the wine business, must recognize that he is the spiritual propagandist for this band of terrorist, bomb throwing vintners in France. He lionizes them in his film as he pushes the notion that small, "artisan" vintners shouldn’t be forced to respond to changing market forces. Nossiter’s film inspires this kind of violence by suggesting that small vintners are at the mercy of the "Multinational" wineries and will die out if "something" isn’t done. Well, Mr. Nossiter, "something" is being done. "Something" has a burning fuse attached to it. "Something" is going to kill someone.

The French wine industry will bounce back once the adults take over from children running around with dynamite in their pockets and when the adults start to address the obvious problems that plague the greatest wine producing country in the world.

However, until then the Mondovino-Inspired Terrorists in France will have their day.

Posted In: Wine News


3 Responses

  1. Peter Finkelstein - April 3, 2005

    Is Nossiter also responsible for the Pope’s death!
    Your remarks are patently ridiculous, bordering on McCarthyite hysteria.
    Shame on you!
    # posted by Peter Finkelstein : 12:24 PM
    Had I thought Nossiter was responsible for the violence in France, I’d have said so. What I said was that Mondovino inspires such violence.
    And while that might boarder on hyperbole, I think it’s fair to say the motivations behind Mondovino are the same as the motivations behind the bombings.
    # posted by Tom : 1:55 PM
    Its meaningless to slander Nossiter on teh basis that the motivations behind his film might be the same as the motivations of the bombers (of whom we know nothing and who could very well be one deluded lunatic). This style of slander technique can be used to prove anything — the motivations of many extremists is often based on real injustices in the real world. Wasn’t Martin Luther King acting out of similar motivations to more extremist political activists. Does this mean that Dr. King’s actions and politics were discredited because someone killed a cop somewhere during the 60s? Is opposition to the Iraq war treason because there are no doubt anti-Americans opposed to the war. This is weak reasoning that is inexcusable. Of course, one could argue that your arrogant argument is motivated by the American wine industry’s hubris and insularity. Of course, I would hope that one would not generalize from your militant ignorance to make an unfair characterization of the American wine industry as a whole. You’re just an isolated wine flack.
    # posted by Peter Finkelstein : 2:51 PM
    Peter, no one will argue that I’m a wine flack. But isolated? Of that I’m not too sure.
    Let’s look at this Crav and those marching in the street and demanding more than the 70 million euros the French governement has already pledged, clearlyl think their situation is unfair. Yet, they aren’t marching to get the govt. to revise AOC laws. And they aren’t marching to get the governement to help them market their wines overseas. They want direct aid because they think the forces are aligned against the traditional system that has let them stand on the top of the mountain. And they are right. Those forces are aligned against them. Global competition, the slow demise of the authority of “terroir”, and stark capitalism are changing the wine industry. What do the marchers and bombers want? They want to see these trends rolled back or they want to be subsidized out of their peril. Nossiter has made a movie filled with little or no honesty in the attempt to pit “globalism” and “corporate wineries” against the small guy. And he wants us all to believe that it’s the small artisan farmer who just wants to portray an authentic terroir who are being pushed out of existence. This view, as well as the view of the marchers amounts to rubbish. They both are motivated by an unwillingness to look outside their parochial world and see the industry for what it is.
    Were Nossiter and the nasty CRAV’s to sit down together and discuss their views of the world, they would likely see things eye to eye.
    Here’s the fact Peter, Nossiter’s Mondovino was the cinematic equivilent of throwing a bomb.
    But let me address the isolation issue. Show me one person in this industry who has watched the film and thinks it’s anything close to fair, balanced or reasonable. I’ve not found them.
    However, I’ll still cop to being a flack. Arrogant? Probably.
    # posted by Tom : 3:54 PM
    You’re just another know-nothing American chauvinist. To use such ridiculous and nasty McCarthyite smear techniques is reprehensible. I can’t imagine that credible wineries use your services, but I suppose you must feel some vested interest to prove you are more loyal to vitibusiness than the next guy. This sort of moral cowardice is what made McCarthyism such a shameful part of American history and I suppose you feel satisfied with yourself for lumping together a complicated phenomena of French overproduction with the actions of isolated fanatics.
    # posted by Peter Finkelstein : 5:09 PM
    I love French wine. I drink it often. As well as German, Argentina and Canadian and Australian. I’ve yet to really get behind Italian, but that’s only because I’ve not really tasted through it very much.
    As for my satisfaction level, well, yes, I am satisfied calling Nossiter a bomb throwing director.
    You are cranky today. I can appreciate that. I raise a glass of Sancerre to Crankiness!!
    Cheers…and thanks for the discussion, Peter.
    # posted by Tom : 5:20 PM
    Did you vote for Bush and support the war in Iraq? Your ridiculous smear against Nossitor and French winemakers can only be explained by some sort of right-wing political agenda.
    Which French wines do you drink often? I suppose not the French wines made my pro-Nossiter terrorists. But I’d be interested to know which ones you follow and like.
    # posted by Peter Finkelstein : 6:00 PM
    Peter…I like your comments here and I think I’d like you if we met. But I also think I’m benig baited.
    # posted by Tom : 10:00 PM
    It’s your blog. You’re big enough to take the bait. Which French wines do you love so much? Do you avoid the French winemakers who have the anti-globalization view? Isn’t patronizing an anti-globalist French winemaker the same thing as bombing office buildings?
    Its an odd thing for a professional publicist to say. That you love French wine. You love the entire category? Why?
    # posted by Peter Finkelstein : 6:50 AM
    BOYS!. Please. This is unfair. Mondovino is yet to make it to a theatre in NZ.
    # posted by Barbara : 2:29 PM
    Post a Comment

  2. Balint Losonci - April 6, 2005

    I just watched the film in Hungary and my views are totally different from yours:
    Nossiter does not symphatize with the bombing lobby: only with people who make relly GREAT (great not meaning high scores by x or y) wine made in an artisanal way. Battista Culumbu and Hubert de Montille are not the people who only produce things for which there are no market and so they march to the street. I think they are essentially people, who are making wine with real obsession, and they are not primerly INCOME-DRIVEN, as the vast majority of Rolland’s clients.
    I think wine is not dead – as mr, Guigal declares in the film. But only 1% should be called REAL artisanal wine, the 99% is just business, a mean of investment, with lobbies, interests and mass marketing.
    For me, Nossiter backs that 1%, not any of the rest!
    I would have done only one thing differently if I were Nossiter: making a scene with an artisanal winemaker from the NEw World (e.g. Oregon) as well, thus not letting the film to being transformed by so many people, like you, to a French-American affair.
    Bálint Losonci
    winemaker &journalist from Hungary

  3. tom - April 6, 2005

    First, thank you for taking the time to read Fermentations. And thank you for your thoughtful comments. I argued that Nossiter and the French winemaking bombers would both share the view that “globalization” is a bad thing for the global wine industry. The bombers look at all the imports and see their status diminished. Nossiter looks at large, corporate wineries and sees a threat to the the artisan bombers.
    The other problem with Nossiter and his film is that he doesn’t name names. With the exceptionn of 4 or 5 wineries, consultants and reviewers, Nossiter doesn’t say just which wineries are “selling out” to global taste. Yet he implies that nearly every new world winery has done this. That’s a rather large brush stroke.
    Finally, Nossiter romances all meaning out of the idea of terroir. I heard him in an interview try to explain that terroir is more than soil and climate. He insists that terroir has to be defined by the culture and traditions that have devloped in a region for centuries. That’s a convenient way to dismiss the terroir of any winemaking region that hasn’t had a wine industry for centuries.
    In general I think Mr. Nossiter violently confuses romance and terroir.
    Just my thoughts.
    The problem with Nossiter is that he is both naive and deceptive. If Nossiter or anytone else thinks that small, artisan producers are losing are being diminished n the face of the large global wineries, then they either know little about the wine industry or they’ve been off making a move about the romance of wine for too long. In America today the divrsity of wine is greater than it has ever been. In California alone I can find any style of chardonnay from thousands of unique terroirs. What is Nossiter talking about.

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