By Stuart Todd

Land values for French AOC vineyards rose by 8.3% in 2001 on the previous year, reaching €65,420/hectare, a report published on Tuesday by France's Ministry of Agriculture shows.

This compares with a 10% increase in 2000, which had been boosted by the significant decrease in transfer duties implemented in 1999.

Since 1993 land values for France's AOC vineyards have risen 44.2%.

The slowdown in the annual increase last year is also explained by a reduction in winegrowers revenues which slipped by 13% in 2001 as a result of falls in harvested volumes and prices.

However, buoyant market conditions saw land values for AOC vineyards in Champagne increase by 10.8% amid some brisk dealing. AOC vineyards in Aquitaine rose by 9%.

AOC vineyards in the Burgundy and Rhone Alpes regions showed rises below the national average while the slowdown in land values in vineyards in the Midi-Pyrenees and Rhone-Alpes regions was noticeable compared to 2000.

Land values for non-AOC vineyards rose 0.3% last year reaching an average of €11,070/hectare.