FRANCE: Bordeaux producers mull uprooting vines
Bordeaux wine growers are considering the uprooting of some of their vineyards in the light of over-production high stocks and poor demand.
Trade groups such as the Fédération des Syndicats des Grands Vins de Bordeaux and farming group, the FDSEA, are now talking openly of such a drastic option in order to cope with one of the worst crises to hit the sector in recent years.
Producers of "generic" AOC such as Bordeaux, Bordeaux supérieur, Médoc, Haut-Médoc et Graves are the hardest-hit.
Regional business advice and management support groups estimate that around 23% of growers are in a fragile financial position.
Despite crop failure in 2002 and the small harvest in 2003 due to a prolonged heatwave, considerable stocks have built up. There are reports that a growing proportion of Bordeaux AOC is now being sold to traders for as low as €850 to €1,000 a barrel.
The trade groups are lobbying for the adoption of a system already in place in other European regions where growers who pull up vines are able to benefit from aid in return for leaving land fallow but at same time maintain their plantation rights.
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