Following my last post on farming debate (thank you BTW for all your comments) I don't mean to continue the controversy but as I see more and more old vines being pulled out... I can't help but express my anger.
This huge frustration is not targeted at vine farmers, who are only taking advantage of this suicidal system, but mainly to people who elaborate those "restructuration" plans, even if it is true that the leaders of big coops (who are often linked to politics) are surely behind this "incentive".
Let me be more specific. If you have an old vine parcel producing low yields, the governement will give you 13 000 Euros per Hectare (2,5 Acres) to pull out vines and then replant.
Of course, you need to use a company to do so and you also need to have the dead vines burned outside whereas the same dead vines could have been used to heat a house or just to cook with them which gives so many great aromas to the food.
You also need to re-plant the new vines on wires, which permits them to be harvested with a machine. This, combined with young vines, will certainly not compete with the great potential of old vines and the wines eventually produced might be good but they will surely be in the "volume" category. In this competitive market, volume wines don't sell well and it is likely that people who plant vines now with the help of the government (I mean with the help of our money !) will also ask in a few years even more help to get rid of wines that are not profitable.
On the other hand, people like us who try to preserve our biggest treasure (old vines), which permit our country to distinguish itself and keep its image of fine wines producers, get nothing... I think it is a night and day treatment, don't you ?
Old vines around "Genêts". Great yeasts and flavors to come in the future wines
On a more "colourful" note, I would like to congratulate my Dear Uncle from Domaine du Banneret for his recent award of 92 points on the Wine Spectator. My cherished cousin Audrey has just started a blog (In French) telling you what is going on there. You should go and pay a visit to here.
At last, I would like to express my gratitude to all the organisers of the first Grenache Symposium event which took place last week-end in le Crestet, near Mont-Ventoux. Besides the great conferences and the share of Grenache knowledge, it is always nice to try many good wines from other committed producers. And it was not very surprising to see that most of them treasure...their old vines.
Happy summer to all and don't hesitate to come visit if you are traveling near us.
Jean-Marc Domaine Rouge-Bleu
PS : All comments are always welcome, as always.