FRANCE: Winemakers call for greater flexibility
France's wine producers today demanded that more than half of its EUR171m "envelope", which is to be released as part of the European Union's wine sector reform, be spent on vineyard restructuring.
Winemakers hope this will allow them the choice of producing more New World-type wines, based on grape variety rather than region.
They also warned their government against trying to centralise control over French wine production, while the EU is trying to decentralise it.
"I welcome the EU reforms, but we have to be careful in France where regional power begins and state power ends," said Jean Louis Salies, president of French wine producers union, Comite National des Interprofessions des Vins a Appellation d'Origine (CNIV).
Fears of centralisation relate particularly to a modernisation plan for the French wine sector, to be presented to the President the end of May.
"A plan like this never sold a drop more wine, and it will stop us working responsibly, competitively and efficiently," Salies said.
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