Dying on the vine

It’s sad to see so many vines being pulled out right now.  It isn’t to upgrade them, it’s because there’s no market for the wine.  It isn’t that long ago that Corbieres wines were vin tres ordinaire, wines only a grower’s mother could love.  The industry turned itself around, planted new vines, and produced lovely wines.  Now the vines are coming out.

The sum total of my wine knowledge is this:  I like red wines.  I don’t like really oaky wines – Australian and Californian.  Some wines linger on your tongue long after you swallow, some are gone as soon as their gone.  Sometimes you can smell amazing things in wine.  There is a big difference between a 5 euro bottle of wine and a 25 euro bottle of wine.  Not such a difference between a 5 euro bottle and a 3 euro bottle.

Brits seem to know a lot about wines.  Or they seem to be able to act as if they know a lot.  I suspect to some extent it’s like art.  There’s no definitive answer but people don’t want to challenge anyone’s opinion, just in case. 

Around here the French are completely chauvinistic when it comes to wine.  In the Aude you really have to search to find wine from anywhere other than France.  A good thing when you consider the financial straights of so many wine producers but kind of a narrow view.

Not only have exports shrunk dramatically so has domestic consumption.  Per capita it’s about half what it was in 1960 and it’s predicted that by 2008 the French will consume less per capita per year than the US.

I was talking with a woman in Montlaur recently and she was saying that it their own fault, that they’ve never believed in the need for marketing.  That they’ve been arrogant and now they’re paying for it.  I asked her if she was going to keep working her vines.  She said yes.  I asked her if she thought that French wines could regain market share.  She said no.

There a cave on the domaine where I live – Celliers des Troubadours – This September will be their 4th vendange.  They make nice wine.  I took a Canadian friend to taste it a couple of weeks ago.  He asked Bernard, one of the partners, if they exported their wine.  He said no, freight and taxes are too expensive.

It can’t be that prohibitive.  Last week I met a couple from California who met a taster for an American broker/importer.  He is in the Corbieres looking for wines to export to the US.

I think these people need to get together so they can stop tearing up the vines.

About Sam

Sam started Aude France as a companion site to her real estate site Aude France Property so that she could have a place to write about life in the Aude. Now that she's in Canada she writes about things that can affect owners and buyers in the Aude - or anything that strikes her fancy. On Pinterest you can find her by searching for Sam Mooney or clicking this link
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