More than 100,000 hectares of vineyards need to be cleared in France, claims Gérard Bancillon, President of the Association of Wines with a Protected Geographical Indication (IGP). He expects an overcapacity of 5 million hectolitres of red wine, which would have to be removed from the market through distillation and other interventions. Otherwise, "a catastrophe threatens in two months". Bancillon is therefore urging the swift implementation of the announced aid for the wine industry. There are too few reservations and the market is very tight. At the same time, many wineries have to honour their current payments.
According to Bancillon, it is necessary to precisely define the implementation of the planned grubbing-up campaigns in order to achieve sustainable success. So far, a grubbing-up premium of up to 4,000 euros per hectare has been discussed in France. However, if the edges and gaps were to be excluded from the vineyard areas during precise measurements, up to 15 per cent of the area per vineyard could be lost. Then "nothing would remain of the 4,000 euros per hectare. 80 million euros must not be announced, of which only 20 million euros can be utilised. All vineyards must be able to benefit from the money," explained Bancillon. Following vociferous protests by winegrowers, the French government has announced emergency aid totalling 80 million euros.
In California, the president of the Allied Grape Growers Association, Jeff Bitter, also caused a stir when he said that around 12,000 hectares of vines would have to be uprooted there to meet the drop in demand. "In three of the past five years - 2019, 2020 and 2023 - we have left grapes hanging on the vines. We have had a structural oversupply for five years, which indicates that we need to reduce our acreage in order to balance supply and demand." He also recommends grubbing up in well-known appellations such as Sonoma, Monterey and Santa Barbara.
(al / source: vitisphere; decanter)