French Snakes and Cowardly Winemakers

I’m struggling to try and figure out how to wrap my mind around this statement by a group of whiny, good for nothing, burdens on society (actually, it appears I have found a way to wrap my mind around the statements of this group, doesn’t it).

For the past few years, Regional Committee for Viticultural Action (CRAV), has been taking "direct action" against certain sectors of the French wine industry through violence and intimidation. Their goal? More subsidies for a business model so terribly unworkable that it has led those following it to fall on hard times.

Now they are threatening the new president of France: "If Sarkozy does not support the interests of the wine industry, he
will be entirely responsible for what happens. We are at the point of no return….See to it that our children know what it is to make wine."

These incompetent wannabe winegrowers and thugs can’t even light their own threatening video sufficiently. What makes them think that state subsidization of a business model so thoroughly out of whack with the realities of the current day wine market is going to in any way preserve their selfish "way of life" or allow their children to "know what it is to make wine"?

In the demanding video they sent to France 3 television, CRAV gives French President Zarkozy 1 month to aid the wine industry in the south of France or violence and potential deaths will occur.

Of course, these folks blame "globalization" for their plight. I wonder what happens to members of CRAV who stand up in their clandestine meetings and ask, "hey, what if we replant to premium varietals, make better wine, brand it in a real snazzy way, target export markets, build demand and slowly raise prices as more and more folks want our wines?"

My guess is that nothing good results from this kind of suggestion in those meetings. After all, it rarely pays to reason with snakes.

12 Responses

  1. Tish - May 18, 2007

    Thanks for the post on this, Tom. Proving once again that the most current REAL wine news is Web-based, not in print. The video is chilling. And sad. Your characterization of the French wine industry/attitude is right. If violence does start up in a month, the rest of the world will notice more than in the past, and it will only serve to undercut the gains French wines have made (in the U.S., at least) lately.

  2. Alfonso - May 20, 2007

    That’ll work, using terrorist techniques to gain market share. What a bunch of knuckleheads. Looks like Italy will win this World Cup as well!

  3. Viva-Vino Biowein Blog - May 21, 2007

    Aufruhr im Languedoc?

    Nachrichten von Drohungen und Anschlgen der militanten Winzervereinigung Comité régional daction viticole (CRAV) laufen im Moment durch die Blogosphre – und reizt zu Wortspielen wie Rote Wein Fraktion oder &qu

  4. Dan Cochran - May 21, 2007

    These CRAV nutjobs are a perfect example of the socialist attitude at its worst. Buy my wine, now! Why? Because I exist, that’s why! Don’t make me EARN my place in the wine market; just shut up and keep the money coming!

  5. Joel - May 21, 2007

    Problem with the French gov’t trying to be semi-communist and supporting some businesses. In trying create equity among businesses by using the government they create inequity and unfair business practices.
    But Terrorism? WTF? This is really really freaky, sad, and a real worrisome development.
    Thanks for posting Tom…

  6. ken - May 22, 2007

    Odd bunch of posts. Rush Limbaugh rhetoric is answered with more of the same. Joel cites a “semi-communist” French gov’t. Chirac? Sarkozy?
    Dan says, “socialist attitude at its worst”….”Don’t make me EARN….”
    (2005 Bordeaux and Burgandy furtures anyone?)
    Alfonso says, “What a bunch of knuckleheads”.
    (Tish can do no wrong in my book.)
    In any event, I know what its like to lose a way of life. I’m from Montana. I witnessed plenty of violence when the bank came to foreclose on family farms. Generations of hard work, families displaced, broken up. Meant nothing to the bankers. Globalization, you see. I don’t agree with CRAV in the slightest, but neither do the posters, I suspect, have a clue what it is to lose everything.
    Tom, are you aware of the US gov’t subsidies of American farmers, by which I mean Big Ag? Billions of dollars.
    So many things wrong with your post I don’t know where to begin. You refer to CRAV’s effort to preserve a ‘selfish’ way of life. Of couse, we know, in the modern world only certain people are entitled to be selfish. A few of them post here.
    Stupidly inflammatory post, Tom.

  7. Lisa Roskam - May 23, 2007

    We should be careful not to generalize the behaviour of the CRAV to all French people or even all French socialists. Although there is a vocal minority of French workers who feel that it is the government’s responsibility to maintain their standard of living at all costs, the fact that Nicolas Sarkozy was recently elected as president is a clear reflection of the fact that this is not the view held by the majority of French.
    The CRAV have been a violent, radical, vocal group for 30 years. Their threats of violence are nothing new here.

  8. Alfonso - May 23, 2007

    I dont know Ken, let’s see, if one’s family goes broke and one becomes homeless for a time, would that allow one to “have a clue what it is to lose everything”?

  9. ken - May 23, 2007

    Apologies, Alfonso, for speaking so irresponsibly about you and others. I, too, was caught up in the ‘tone’ of the posts. We feel perfectly free to bash an entire culture but when it becomes personal we somehow cross a line. Odd how that works. The veneer of civility is ever-so thin these days, especially on the internet. But I’ll step up here: I apologize.
    Kind regards.

  10. Alfonso - May 23, 2007

    thanks. accepted..
    if for some reason it sounded like I was bashing all the French, I didnt intend to mean that. I’m a fan of their wines and cuisine. I was aiming for the little fringe group.
    Like Buckminster Fuller once said, you take all the politicians and round them up and put them on a spaceship for a trip around the sun and in 6 months no body would notice much difference. But put all the farmers on that spaceship and we all will starve in 6 months.

  11. Vin Spirit IE - May 31, 2007

    the video is directly accessible via the blog “Vin Spirit IE” with the following link:

  12. Nio - July 3, 2008

    wfWvaX I am need to price

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