The Continuing Trouble With French Wine
We mentioned earlier the problem of the French wine surplus. Now it's gotten violent. Yesterday, there was a small riot in the town of Narbonne, France. 50 angry young wine producers hurled bottles, flares and molotov cocktails at riot police after a demonstration by 10,000 growers. The situation was more theatrical than dangerous but calls attention to a growing problem. There have also been minor terrorist attacks by extremist wine producers recently. The producers have tried to reduce production and improve quality and marketing but are still facing a huge surplus. The EU buys up a billion litres of wine a year and turns it into industrial alcohol now French growers are asking for another billion including 250 million litres from low-to-mid range French wines. The crisis was precipitated by the drop in French wine consumption and the rise of Australian, South American and North American wines. Now if only I could get a job as official surplus wine consumer.