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Gallic Ploy Plonks New Labels On Old Bottles To Drain Wine Lakes
The Times [UK] ^ | June 25, 2005 | Adam Sage

Posted on 06/24/2005 7:39:52 PM PDT by quidnunc

Paris – French winemakers got some long-awaited good news this week: their wines are selling well in the United States. Or at least some of them are.

Fat Bastard, for instance, is highly popular, and so too are Wild Pig, Red Bicyclette and Pont d’Avignon.

Those four were among the labels on display at Vinexpo, a wine fair in Bordeaux, and they set the tone for the debate about how French vineyards confront a crisis that has resulted in a lake of unsold Gallic wine of 2.5 million hectolitres (66 million gallons).

It has two causes. At home, the French are drinking less — 58 litres each a year on average, compared with 100 in 1965.

Elsewhere, France is losing market share to the New World, with exports down 9 per cent in 2004 and 13 per cent in the first quarter of this year. The decline was exacerbated by bitter Franco-American exchanges over Iraq.

In response, many vignerons have adopted the traditional strategy. This involves demonstrations, vandalism, appeals and requests for state subsidies — the French Government announced a €70 million (£46.4 million) package in January, but vineyards want more.

A growing minority of French winemakers are catching up with a trend that began a decade ago and drawing inspiration from successful vineyards in New Zealand, Australia, California and Chile.

Jean-François Mau, head of a 100-year-old Bordeaux group,announced a new wine called You. It has a screw top and M Mau expects to sell two million bottles a year in the US.


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KEYWORDS: cleaningfluid; france; frenchwine; oenology; solvents; wine

1 posted on 06/24/2005 7:39:53 PM PDT by quidnunc
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To: quidnunc

French whine? Oh, yeah, they've got too much of it alright.

2 posted on 06/24/2005 7:41:06 PM PDT by snarks_when_bored
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To: snarks_when_bored

They could sell every drop of it if they put it in eye-catching packaging and called it "Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkey."

3 posted on 06/24/2005 7:47:06 PM PDT by ReadyNow
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To: ReadyNow

LOL...yes I would definitely buy that!

4 posted on 06/24/2005 8:27:33 PM PDT by sassbox
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