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May 30, 2022 View:

Bordeaux Winegrowers Association plans production reduction program to address wine overcapacity

The Bordeaux Winegrowers Association is studying a production reduction plan to address the overcapacity of AOP-rated wines in 2020.

Photo courtesy of: Wine Click

It is understood that Bordeaux AOP red wine production will be reduced to 5,000 liters per hectare in 2020 , compared to 5,400 liters per hectare in 2019, a total reduction of up to 20%. In addition, the yield per hectare of Super Bordeaux grades, rosé and white wines has also been reduced.

Although no formal decision has been made, the future of permanent vineyard plans in Bordeaux is being consistently debated with distillation as well as proposals to reduce production. According to current discussions between Bordeaux and the Bordeaux Superior Producers Association, between 8,000 and 10,000 hectares of vineyards in the Gironde region (Gironde) would have to be uprooted in order to cope with declining sales. As France"s leading wine region, Gironde has 110,800 hectares of vines and has lost about 7-9% of its vine acreage.

The primary problem facing the permanent vine uprooting program is funding, and the issue of aid money for the affected areas is still unresolved. The Wine Marketing Board CIVB's supported the vine uprooting program, but until today, the Board was still paying off the debt incurred from the 2005 vine uprooting program.

Photo courtesy of: Wine Click

Once the Bordeaux region that uprooted the vines has successfully applied for subsidies, it is likely that other regions or other member states will follow suit and apply for subsidies. 5,000 hectares of vines were planned to be uprooted in Gironde at the end of 2019 (€5,000/ha subsidy), but due to the health crisis, the plan was suspended at the Bordeaux General Assembly on March 31. shareholders" meeting could not be debated and the plan was therefore suspended. The rapid decline in wine demand due to the Neufchamps epidemic has now reawakened the need to reduce wine supply. Out-of-cellar Bordeaux sales are likely to be well below 4 million liters in the 2019-2020 sales season.

The issue of vine removal is still being discussed, with proposals and counter-proposals proliferating. Some talk about providing grants to create biodiversity reservoirs or replace untreated buffers, while other industry members are concerned about new pressures on vineyards from urban sprawl. Some want strong financial incentives, while others want strict criteria to avoid people living off the proceeds of viticulture grants. Since the producer organizations have not reached a clear decision on this issue, many of their representatives are avoiding the issue.

The Bordeaux Fine Wine Federation is currently studying a distillation program for wines in stock, seeking exemption from paying national insurance premiums. Short-term economic measures will require structural remedies to create a more sound foundation. Whether it is uprooting vines to reduce production or distilling wine to deplete stocks, cash flow is a huge obstacle in front of Bordeaux, and the next harvest is getting closer, leaving little time for Bordeaux to restart.