Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Cécile Duflot ruffles some feathers

Read more

  • US demands Russia withdraw aid convoy from Ukraine

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Fed Chair says US job market still hampered by Great Recession

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Gunmen kill scores in Iraqi Sunni mosque attack

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Europe launches navigation satellites to rival GPS

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    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)