In a country where consumption of table wine is decreasing, you would think the government run wine industry (for all intents & purposes) would figure it out. There is a huge export market for reasonably priced, quality wines. Why shouldn’t the moderately priced producers in Bordeaux be allowed to use the Bordeaux name and relax the regs?
French Wine Laws Need to be Revised
As a consumer, I resent Bordeaux as a wine region. If I want to explore the very best of Napa, I can afford it on a splurge. The very best in Bordeaux is priced very close to insanity. It has created a backlash with many consumers. A perception of the damn cultural elite, dictating accessibility, creating an image that does not appeal to the average wine drinker. It doesn’t need to be like this. Bordeaux is at a cross-roads. The majority of wine production in Bordeaux is actually more reasonably priced, but I rarely buy affordable Bordeaux. With declining consumption in France, what will happen to the wine classifications Vin de Table, and Vin de Pays? The answer should be: allow a product geared for the export market to be developed. Very similar to what Italy has done with the “IGT” designation.
French Wine Laws That Make Sense
I will now introduce sacrilege to the discussion… beyond the 1st-5th Growth wineries, the rest should buck the system and start a co-op outside of the AOC system and pool marketing dollars to enter new export markets. Relax the production requirements to allow more accessible, new-world styles. Permit label changes to make them more understandable for the typical New World consumer. Spend money advertising to introduce these new wines to the world… AND allow them to use the “Bordeaux” name.
Why would this be so crazy? If I had the cash to invest, I would learn French and reach out myself to get these winemakers to leave the system and step out on their own. A group of value priced Bordeaux producers banding together and pursuing export markets outside of the limitations of the AOC system? Wouldn’t that ruffle a few feathers?