France pours more aid as wine sector faces ‘Major Difficulties’

This week the government of France stepped up financial support for wine growers faced with a deep drop in demand after lockdowns closed restaurants and bars and U.S. tariffs curbed exports.

“The state will increase to 250 million euros its support plan to wine growing and we will request this aid to be distributed as quickly as possible because cash needs are pressing,” French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Wednesday.

Castex made the announcement during a visit to the Menetou-Salon and Sancerre vineyards in the Loire region.

“The international situation, the health crisis, a drop in exports: our wine sector faces major difficulties. State support must continue and intensify,” Castex said on Twitter earlier.

France has already provided some support, but the wine industry has called for more action.

In April, the European Commission decided to support crisis management measures in wine and other agriculture sectors affected by the coronavirus crisis.

In May, France cleared a 140 million euro ($165.87 million)crisis mechanism to distill surplus wine into industrial alcohol to be used to produce hand sanitizers.

Then in June, the government unveiled an additional 30 million euros of support for the wine industry, including 15 million for the launch of a private storage scheme for two million hectolitres of surplus wine, an alternative to distilling.

In addition to the impact of COVID-19, France’s wine industry has suffered from U.S tariffs on imports imposed as part of the trade dispute between the European Union and the United States over aircraft subsidies.

Source:  Reuters

 

The CIVB (Conseil Interprofessionnel du vin de Bordeaux) to set aside wines from 2020 to reduce oversupply

At its AGM last week, the Bordeaux wine marketing council CIVB unanimously approved the introduction of a reserve stock aimed at “reducing the increase in marketable inventories of red Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur appellations”. By adopting an amendment to the three-year trade agreement for 2020-2023, the CIVB is pursuing the objective outlined last year by chairman Bernard Farges, which is “to re-establish a balance between supply and demand for Bordeaux wines”.

We are currently witnessing an imbalance in the market due to crop levels in excess of sales”, sums up Ann-Cécile Delavallade, head of the CIVB’s economic department. According to the statistician’s estimates, inventories of AOC Bordeaux should reach 2.2 million hectolitres during the 2019-2020 marketing season, which is a 21% rise in one year, before distillation is taken into account. Stocks of Bordeaux Supérieur are estimated at 1.05 million hl (+14%). “We are seeing an upward trend in stocks, requiring the introduction of regulatory measures”, stresses Delavallade.

The Bordeaux region will benefit from crisis distillation – 450,000 hectolitres are currently subsidized though an extension is needed. It will also cut its yields significantly in 2020, dropping to 50 hectolitres per hectare for Bordeaux, compared with 54 hl/ha in 2019. Nevertheless, the idea of introducing collective stocks is being viewed as a complementary measure. In practice, volumes set aside are “calculated on the basis of 2020 appellation applications: above 45 hl/ha for AOC Bordeaux and 43 hl/ha for AOC Bordeaux Supérieur, both within the limits of authorized annual yields”. This represents a 10% reduction in the immediate marketing potential of the two AOCs.

Wine Review: Franck Millet Sancerre Blanc

Tasting Notes:

This nervy wine comes from Bué, one of the top villages of Sancerre, which is grown in limestone-clay soil and reflects the unique terroir of the region.

Powerful nose with lots of aromatic qualities developing over a period of time. Tangy with mineral texture, and offering lime flavors, displaying a surprising suppleness and roundness. Very long on the palate.

This wine makes an excellent aperitif and pairs beautifully with oily seafood dishes and cheeses.

Points 89

APPELLATION
Sancerre, Loire Valley, France

WINERY
Domaine Franck Millet

ALCOHOL
12.5%

BOTTLE SIZE
750 ml

CATEGORY
White

Awards

Le Guide Hachette des Vins, 2017: 1 Star

Le Guide Hachette des Vins, 2014: 2 Stars

Concours General Agricole Paris, 2014: Gold

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Southern French Wine Regions Announce €34M Recovery Plan

At a press conference May 29, members of the southern French wine industry agreed on a comprehensive plan which will aid the sector following the coronavirus disruption.

The “unprecedented” scheme aims to safeguard jobs, boost sales and help the region and its wine producers regain market share over the next 18 months.

Furthermore, it intends to help companies develop multi-year trading partnerships, increase the rate of premiumization in the wines, and safeguard the production of the region’s distinctive dessert wines (vins doux naturels).

The scheme has the backing of the regional council, regional business and marketing boards, wine industry trade unions, the regional Chamber of Agriculture and wine trade bodies including Inter Oc (Interprofessional Council of wines from the Pays d’Oc), IVSO (Interprofessional Council of Wines from the South West of France), CIVL (Interprofessional Council of  Languedoc Wines), CIVR (Interprofessional Council of Roussillon Wines) and the Gardoise, part of Inter Rhône.

A total of €14 (€7m each) will be coming from the Regional Council of Occitanie and business and marketing boards.

Support will be given to companies to assist them with their marketing expenses, including participating in trade fairs, while €0.5m will also be allocated towards a campaign promoting the region’s wines. 80% of the budget (the €14m) will take the form of direct aid for businesses.

A further €20m will come from wine trade bodies. Inter Oc is contributing €14m, while the CIVL, CIVR and IVSO are each giving €2m to the cause.

The recovery plan will be presented to the vote of regional elected representatives in July.

Languedoc winemaker, Gérard Bertrand, said: “The region and all the players in the Occitanie wine sector have come together and mobilized to collectively build a stimulus plan of unprecedented scale in France with regards to the resources that have been contributed.

“With direct aid for wine companies, in particular for marketing, collective actions and promotion, we are ready to act on all fronts: to secure jobs, promote local development of activities and stimulate the reconquest of markets in France and internationally.”

In addition to national government schemes, the region has been supported by a number of measures during the Covid-19 crisis. Wine firms have been able to take advantage of the Fonds de Solidarité Régional (Regional Solidary Funds) which gives aid to businesses who have not had access to a state-guaranteed loan (PGE). Companies have also been given extensions, postponements or exemptions from loan repayments. In addition, the Solidarité Alimentation Occitanie, launched in March, has helped promote local deliveries in order to for the economic activity in the region to be maintained.

Occitanie is the administrative region formed in 2016 from the merger of the Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées regions

It comprises over 270,000ha, producing 14m hectolitres of wine, and boasts 93 appellations including 59 PDOs. It is viticulturally diverse, with some 150 native and international grape varieties grown. Around 22,600 wine-related companies operate in the region – employing 100,000 people – with a turnover of €1.3 billion. Wine grapes represent 20% of agricultural production in the region (in 2017) and wine worth €925m was exported in 2018.

Sources:  Drinks Business and the Regional Council of Occitanie

 

Idealwine launches Fine Wine Auction for Healthcare Workers #ProtegeTonSoignant

Online fine wine auction site idealwine has launched a charity auction to raise funds for healthcare workers in France.

Unveiled this week, the auction will run until May 7. The auction includes Château Lafite Rothschild 1996 in a double magnum, and a range of large formats Bordeaux such as Pichon Baron, Phelan Segur and Suduiraut, and Salmanazars from Domaine de la Solitude, Domaine Albert Bichot and Champagne Drappier.

All proceeds will be donated to the #ProtegeTonSoignant collective which is a multidisciplinary team that identifies hospitals’ urgent needs, to buy and deliver the medical equipment.

Just under 1,000 bottles will be up for auction, with donations from 100 domains, which is worth an estimated €60,000-€100,000.

The auction will be live from April 27 until May 7 2020 on the iDealwine.com site.

The auction will be administered by International Wine Auction, the certified public auction operator and subsidiary of iDealwine.

How to Bid

Simply sign up on the iDealwine site.

All proceeds [the hammer price and buyer’s commission (19% excluding tax)] will be donated to the collective. The wines bought will be shipped to buyers by iDealwine (shipping fees apply), or will be available for collection at the iDealwine warehouse (in Paris) after the end of lockdown.

http://www.iDealwine.com