The agreed period for crisis distillation in Bordeaux ended on 31July, with only 200,000hl of surplus wine having been sent for distillation.
In response to problems of overproduction, The European Wine Management Committee had agreed on 28 April 2005 that France would be allowed to distil 1.5m hl of AOC wine from around the country.
By the closing date, around 1.1m hl had been sent. Bordeaux’s potential share of that was 500,000 hl, but has sent under half of that amount.
Rolland Feredj, general manager of Bordeaux trade body the CIVB, told decanter.com, ‘It would have been easier if more winemakers had taken up the option to distil their surplus wine, but as it was always a voluntary measure, we must now face the situation as it stands.’
CIVB president Christian Delpeuch had said a few weeks ago that if the opportunity wasn’t fully taken up, yields for the 2005 harvest would have to be brought down to 50 hl/ha
Feredj clarified this position, saying the CIVB hoped each producer could be realistic and adapt its yields depending on its capacity to sell stock.
ONIVINS, the wine governing body, estimated this week that stocks of wine available at French properties are estimated at around 38.4m hl, an increase of 18.6% on volumes registered on July 31, 2004 and an increase of 13% over the past five years.
Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux