Bordeaux: Church steps in

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  • Tuesday 23 May 2006

The Archbishop of Bordeaux has called on the regions’ winemakers to show courage in the face of the wine crisis currently affecting the region.

Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard admitted that the crisis was due to the structure of the industry and that it was not linked to the country’s economic climate.

‘It would be futile to wait for it to blow over and dream of a return to Bordeaux’s prosperity,’ he said.

The 61 year-old prelate, however, asked winemakers not to succumb to despair saying that, over the last two centuries, they had always shown ‘courage and ingenuity’ in overcoming their problems.

Ricard, originally from Marseille in the south of France, also noted that the troubles were of national proportions, mentioning the Languedoc-Roussillon, currently one of the worst-affected wine regions in France.

The Cardinal said he feared that the situation could provoke ‘violent or extreme reactions’.

He called on his flock to show ‘solidarity’ and asked for a spirit of ‘mutual help’ to end the lack of trust between neighbouring winemakers.

‘Up until now, winemaking has grown up on individual investment and a personal quest for profit,’ he said.

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