Monday, February 26, 2007

Apres le deluge

Comes the revolution to bring the French wine industry into the 21st century:

French winemakers are beginning to claw back their dominance of the global wine market after years of problems in responding to innovation from the New World.

A series of reforms in the way wine is produced in France, which include labelling wines by grape variety as well as by region, appear to have boosted the beleagured industry.


According to a study by the American agency Delaitte and Cie/Deussen, foreigners believe French wine labelling is "incredibly complicated" and contains names that are "impossible to pronounce."

Advertising campaigns remain "all over the place" and appear "inconsistent," according to the industry.

"We are considered, as much in the United States as in the United Kingdom or Japan, as an old country with a product that is too expensive, snobbish, elitist," Affre said.

For which they can thank the French government's absurd regulation, and from which they still won't be free:

Under the French government's plans to shake-up the wine industry, new "wine producing areas" were set up bringing together mid-range wines and wines designated under the formal Appellations d'Origine Controlee (AOC) system, to improve the way regional products were marketed.

....At the same time, reforms to the AOC system, which imposes restrictions on grape varieties and wine-making methods for designated wines, should result in stricter controls.

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