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Alain Juppé: the market decides the price of Bordeaux

Bordeaux 2010's pricing policy is in line with what the market wants, French foreign minster and Bordeaux mayor Alain Juppé told Decanter.com yesterday.

Juppé was speaking during a walkabout on the opening morning of Vinexpo, the giant biennial Bordeaux wine fair yesterday.

Asked whether he thought the prices were too high this year – many properties have come under a barrage of criticism for taking their prices significantly higher than the already expensive 2009 vintage – he said, ‘The market decides the prices. The wines are actually great value and I hope that the very good results of last year will be confirmed this year.’

Alain Juppé and French agriculture minister Bruno Le Maire (both pictured) spent more than an hour visiting exhibitors from a variety of countries around the fair, beginning with the the Rothschild pavilion and going on the Grand Chais de France, Louis Latour, Castel, Duboeuf, the German pavilion, Ginjo Sake, Calvados, South Africa and Burgundy, among others.

Later they both stressed their commitment to preserving France’s heritage – her wines.

In particular, Le Maire said liberalising planting laws in France would be a major mistake.

He said he spoke also for Juppé in his opposition to a watering down of stringent planting restrictions.

‘I am against this liberalisation, and I know Alain Juppé is as well,’ he said. ‘It will not help European and French growers achieve their aims of competing on a world scale with wines of the highest quality.’

The European Union proposals will permit an increase in production of wine grapes in all EU countries, Le Maire said, a policy which will undermine quality and go against the goals of preserving the individual character of regional wines.

He also said he was seeking support from other wine producing countries against the proposals and had already had agreement from Italy, Spain, Germany and Hungary.

Wherever he comes from, whether it be Alsace or Roussillon, ‘Each Frenchman sees his culture in his wine,’ Le Maire said, pledging his support for the winegrowing sector, saying he would defend ‘each and every farmer and worker on the land in an effort to preserve the typicity of our wine’.

The minister exhorted the French people to understand the need to act together to improve quality.

‘Divisiveness is the “French Disease”,’ he said, stressing always that the need to produce wines with strong individual character was the only way to stand up to their neighbours – ‘we have Italians and Spanish on our doorstep who compete aggressively with us.’

He then praised Languedoc-Roussillon as a model region, one showing flair and innovation in its winemaking.

Vinexpo is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. With some 2,400 exhibitors from 47 countries, organisers say they are expecting 50,000 visitors.

Written by Adam Lechmere in Bordeaux

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