Bordeaux is in crisis and needs a radical restructure, according to one of the region’s biggest exporters.

The system is failing all but the biggest and richest producers, Matthieu Chadronnier, managing director of negociants CVBG Dourthe said at the Winefuture conference in Rioja.

‘Most of Bordeaux was already in a crisis before the global downturn but it has just got worse.

‘We have a system of production and distribution which is effective for the Grands Crus but it is a real weakness for the rest of Bordeaux.’

There are around 10,000 wine producers and 400 merchants in Bordeaux.

Around 70% of all wine produced in Bordeaux is sold through these merchants, rising to more than 90% for classified growths.

‘Our biggest handicap is the fragmentation of our wine industry,’ he added.

Chardronier claimed more wine companies in Bordeaux need to start growing grapes, making wine and selling it. ‘We have to have everything under one roof,’ he told decanter.com.

‘I don’t think a region of this size can have 10,000 producers.’

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Written by Rebecca Gibb in Rioja