André Lurton became the latest high profile target in an increasingly desperate series of demonstrations held by independent wine producers across France.
The action was less violent than those seen recently in the Languedoc, where wineries have been dynamited. In this case, vines were symbolically pulled up on Monday outside the prominent Bordeaux owner’s Entre deux Mers estate, Chateau Bonnet.
The Lurton family is one of Bordeaux’s most powerful winemaking dynasties. Andre Lurton owns 11 chateaux in Bordeaux, and the wider family, including brothers Jacques and Francois Lurton, consult for another two dozen properties around the world, as well as building and owning wineries in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Spain, Languedoc and Corbieres.
‘Lurton represents the new class of producers who are omnipresent throughout the world and damaging our local industry, making it harder and harder for young winemakers to be successful,’ said Pierre Andron, organiser of today’s action and part of radical farmer José Bové’s La Confederation Paysanne.
The action coincided with Dominique Bussereau, the Minister of Agriculture, holding further wine crisis talks in Paris.
‘We already know what he is going to say, and it isn’t enough,’ Andron told decanter.com.’ Winemakers from all over France came together in Bordeaux today to protest at the hypocrisy of the measures on offer. We need immediate, effective aid.’
James Ryland, marketing director at Chateau Bonnet, was puzzled by their choice. ‘André Lurton is the wrong target – he has spent his whole life battling for the rights of Bordeaux wine makers,’ he said.
The next demonstrations are planned for Narbonne on April 20, with a further round in Dijon on May 19.
Written by Jane Anson