MON DIEU ! Have French policy-makers fallen off their bicycles?

Mon Dieu, Wine sales in deep decline in France; Breathalyzers might be required in all cars? Wine is a drug! 
 
Send in the Clowns

Send in the Clowns

Mon Dieu! No wonder the wine salesmen of France are scrambling to get the rest of us buying more wine.  It’s a serious problem for 100,000 French winemakers who are mostly farmers.  A thousand years and more of work developing what are some the most elegant wines in the world only to have it thrown away!  Not enough that their inheritance laws in Burgundy are so antiquated that leaving a vineyard land- holding to a single family member is all but impossible.  

 
Why is this being done?  This is a country with 27,000 wineries and 200,000 independant farmers with vineyards. The Vignerons, Negociants, and French wine makers and winery owners preserve centuries old wine-making techniques that require a life-time of learning.  
 
We have visited these folks, and they are sincere, devoted, ethical men and women serving the legacy given over many generations and handed down by families to children and grandchildren.  So what’sMK-AL544A_NUWIN_20070823203637 happening?  Their own countrymen are no longer drinking much wine.  Look at the statistics:
 
The French apparently do have a drinking/driving problem but the decline in wine drinking seems to go deeper.  Fewer young people  are interested in drinking wine now; they prefer beer and spirits, and the decline in wine consumption in France goes back perhaps 50 years.  Take a look at wine production figures below in Mhl.  Depressing!
 wine production
I don’t get it; you don’t have to drink too much to enjoy wine and with friends. Call a Taxi; it isn’t necessary to drive when over the legal limit.  Wine is beautiful! (Spirits and beer are another matter).  Wine sales in deep decline in France; Breathalyzers might be required in all cars soon and wine is a drug in the opinion of French policy-makers! 
 
A while back when visiting Burgundy, I listened to a winemaker tell me that the night before we came he was driving through his village and stopped by the police.  He was near the end of the year’s harvest and had been barrel tasting his wines.  “They almost put me in Jail” he said.
 
o.05% alcohol/blood-level was set to be the law in France (0.08 in the USA ) and it has just been temporarily pulled back by legislators last January.   
 
Fortunate that wine-drinking in the spirit of Thomas Jefferson lives on here in the United States!  Our wine production has increased dramatically during the past 50 years.  From 196M Dollars  in 1994 to nearly a Billion and a half in 2012.
 
We are not bragging – we want our French friends to do better! 

Wine-exports-1994-2012-Wine-Institute 

 

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