Dear wine lovers,
While I keep on pruning our vines with the great help of Jérome who owns vines in Cairanne and bring the grapes to the coop, I learn interesting things about all kinds of help that vine owners can get from the government.
The first that stroke me is the help for planting vines. In this overproduction times, one could wonder about it. But the most not-understandable part is that depending if you are a private vine owner or if you belong to a coop, help can double and almost pay for the costs of plantation. As everybody knows, it is the coops that generally produce the best wines so it is normal to encourage them...
Then I heard about help that has been given a few years ago to turn the vines pruned in "Gobelet" into tying them up on wires in order to be able to harvest with a machine. This will permit to lower the harvest cost and in the same, the quality !
Since I have been thinking about this vineyard project for a long time, I know that the government help to get started young farmers. For this, you must be under 40 (which I am still for the next 2 months) and you also must have an agricultural diploma, no matter your academic school level and no matter your experience in the wine business. Of course, this will benefit to farmers who are from generations to generations and who will, for most of them, continue to give their grapes to the coop. On the other hand, new qualitative projects like mine can't find help here.
At last and even if this is not help, the coop system also seems to be protected from the competition of private wineries by the fact that one needs average 2 years of exploitation before you can reasonably think about building a cellar. In the meantime, you have most of the times no other solution than bringing your grapes to the coop...
In this difficult times for some French wines which face the international competition, the question is to know if we want to help organizations that produce wines mostly produced by coops and that don't sell or is it better to encourage new private projects oriented on quality and terroir having in mind that in this category of wines, there is no real competition.
True is that coops represent a lot of people behind and that's when politic interests pollute the debate... Also, true is that the big negociant system need to buy at low cost... But true is that this system does not work, except a few coops that I know and which are completely dedicated to quality. Eventually, all those wines don't sell (and are distilled with, once again, the government budget) simply because we have encouraged to mass produce some wines that can't compete financially and “marketingly” with the ones from the new world, whereas the same vines could have given a much better result if we had encouraged the quality.
The private vineyards which create wealth don't ask for help but the least would understand that there is no longer this discrimination which eventually can block private initiative, the only way for France to "wine" the battle against globalization.
Any comments, edits are very welcome at email@example.com
The best way to understand my point :
Update on our vineyard project....
Under a cold and very windy weather but with hopefully the sun, I continue pruning (video 2 MO).
This week, we will prepare a vine parcel for a future plantation, even if I am not sure to get some financial help for this project...