France produces the makers of wine to drag up vines as the renowned Bordeaux area confronts an indefinite end

August 30, 2023: France produces the makers of wine to pull up vines as the renowned Bordeaux area confronts an indefinite end.

Extreme weather and changing consumer habits are hitting winemakers in a way that no longer makes it viable for some to keep their wineries open. Instead, some are uprooting vines and seeking state compensation.

“In the next five years, we will see fewer vines in Bordeaux,” said Sylvie Courselle, an agricultural engineer and enologist at Château Thieuley.

According to data from the local authorities, between early June and July this year, there were 584 submissions for compensation from winemakers who wanted to either end their production entirely or diversify the use of their land. This corresponds to almost 5,000 hectares of vineyard area that could be about to change. Producers had only until mid-July to ask for support.

“Climate change can accelerate this,” Courselle told, counting that winemakers have had to deal with hailstorms, frosts, and droughts that significantly impacted the crop in recent years.

She thinks that, in the future, the greatest challenge will be access to water one of the most essential ingredients in wine production.

But the challenges go beyond climate change. Historically, there’s been a focus on the production of red wine in Bordeaux, but consumers are increasingly opting for beer and lighter wines. Evidence of this is the boom in the number of active brewers in France. These have grown from 322 in 2009 to 2,500 in 2021, according to data from Statista.

In addition, data from the French institute OFDT shows that wine sales dropped by over a third between 2000 and 2020. Over the same period, there was an addition of 7% in beer sales.

France is also selling a little less wine abroad. The European nation dominates the trade of wine worldwide, alongside Spain and Italy. But in 2022, France saw exports fell 5% versus the prior year, according to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine.

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