Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Towards a "Third Intifada"?

Read more

FOCUS

What solutions for California's overcrowded prisons?

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza conflict: Palestinians mark sombre Eid

Read more

WEB NEWS

Celebrities in the Israel-Gaza crossfire

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Israeli strike takes out Gaza power station

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French newspaper apologises for Sarkozy story

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Last-ditch talks aim to avert Argentina default

Read more

  • Deadly strike hits Gaza market despite four-hour 'truce'

    Read more

  • Fourth female suicide bomber targets Nigerian city

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • US rebounds to 4% growth in second quarter

    Read more

  • Suspect in Jewish Museum attack charged with 'terrorist' murder

    Read more

  • Women should not laugh in public, Turkey's deputy PM says

    Read more

  • Video: Coping with rocket attacks in Israel’s Sderot

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

  • France evacuates nationals, closes embassy in Libya

    Read more

  • Dozens killed in stampede at Guinea rap concert

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fire rages on

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

Business

Bordeaux wine industry aims to reclaim foreign markets

Video by Christopher BOCKMAN

Text by Christopher BOCKMAN

Latest update : 2010-04-02

France is still the world's biggest wine producer, but the industry is in crisis. Too many producers have been bringing down quality and price. But now some French wine-growers are fighting back to reclaim market share...

In this Bordeaux vineyard, no green shoots have emerged yet. You might think that means this is the quietest time of the year for wine growers.

But in fact, right now is the most important time of the year for them. At the famous Medoc Chateau de Malleret, all appears peaceful - but just behind in the converted stables is a gathering of the world's most important wine traders and brokers. They are testing hundreds of different varieties of the 2009 vintage, 18 months before the wine is put on the market.

Thierry Gardinier is President of the Medoc Wine Growers Association. He says, "It’s the week where all the buyers from all over the world come to Bordeaux to taste the wine, and from that tasting they will decide if the quality they have tested is great or not. And from that tasting the market decision will be taken in the coming weeks."

After several poor years, first impressions are that the experts like what they are tasting. This means prices will rise. Michael Osborn is the biggest wine importer in the United States. He has given his thumbs-up, saying, " The vintage is beautiful. It’s exceptional across the board."

Like other wine-growing regions of France, Bordeaux has lost market share to new world regions. Bordeaux simply had too many producers who were making too much average wine. Around 15 percent of them have now been encouraged to rip up their vines for good, allowing the industry to focus on improving quality.

Bruno Von Der Heyden, who produces Medoc wine, says quality has now improved in the Bordeaux vineyards, thanks to changes in the local industry.

The presence of so many Asian wine importers is good news for the Bordeaux wine industry. The high value of the euro made it very expensive to sell French wine outside of Europe. But with the dramatic fall in the euro this year, French wine is becoming more competitive again.

Ironically, however, there is one market the French wine-growers have not recaptured - their own. French wine consumption has halved since the 1980s.

Date created : 2010-04-02

COMMENT(S)