Memo to French Wine Industry: CHANGE!!
Call me old fashioned, but I just don’t get he idea of causing havoc as a way to address the fact that the world is changing when it comes to economic and marketing models that govern the French wine industry.
Were I in the South of France my views would apparently be in the minority.
Yesterday thousands of French vintners and a few "Anarchists" (I guess you take the supporters you can get) spilled into the streets of Bezier, Nimes, Avignon and other French cities to make clear their frustration with the falling market for grapes and French wine that has caused considerable hardship for growers and some winemakers.
Along the way train and phone lines were attacked. Riot police were called out.
The French have a problem. French are drinking less wine, less French wine is being exported and higher percentages of imported wines are being drunk by the French.
The obvious solution, which is not a long-term solution, is to rip out vineyards. And they are apparently doing that at a rate of about 2% of the vineyards this year. That’s a good start, but only a start.
The other solution is finding ways to market French wine abroad. Everyone knows what works. It’s a matter of doing it. As for the decline in French consumption, this is clearly a social shift that is occurring in France that will be hard to turn around. For now, the French should focus on trying to re-take market share back from the Australian, Chilean and other less expensive imports that have become more and more popular in France.
Of course, the other option is simply to rip up train tracks, attack telecommunication infrastructure and burn down cities.
A good explanation of the French Wine Crisis can be found here.