Marcel Guigal, one of the most respected figures in the French wine world, has called on the country's big-name regions to drag the country out of its 'structural crisis'.

Speaking as he accepted his 'Man of the Year' award from UK wine magazine Decanter last week, Guigal attacked his fellow countrymen for their lack of vision and was blunt about where the problems lay.

"Some (industry) professionals opened their eyes and others did not," he said. "Since then an unprecedented structural crisis has blighted our industry. I am convinced that a qualitative push upwards is indispensable, despite, an annoying tendency in this country to bring things down to their lowest level.

"Historical French appellations should become the drivers for progress… New World wines can provide us with stimulation and, sometimes, inspiration."