Plan Unveiled to Drastically Reduce ‘Basic Bordeaux’

The new president of the Bordeaux Wine Council (CIVB), recently announced plans to dramatically reduce the number of chateaux that are producing lower-cost, ‘basic Bordeaux.’

Georges Haushalter, who is a respected negociant, the general manager of Compagnie Medocaine des Grands Crus, and the newly announced CIVB president, has unveiled a plan known as ‘Bordeaux Tomorrow.’ The idea is to increase overall production by around 12 percent, while simultaneously reducing the 1.1m hectolitre of ‘basic Bordeaux’ that is currently being produced. By definition, ‘Basic Bordeaux’ is generally considered to be any wine that is sold for less than €2 in France.

To accomplish this, grants and subsidies will be used to destroy existing vines and/or encourage winemakers to retire, and in some cases they will even be used to hire experienced winemakers who can improve the quality of borderline properties. Although the number of growers is expected to decrease by around 26 percent and vineyard surface to decrease by around 7 percent as a result of the new plan, it will also require the more profitable areas of Bordeaux to ramp up production.

In addition, Haushalter’s new plan includes the development of a simplified labeling system that is designed to help consumers more easily identify the many different types of wine that are available on the market. From a wider perspective, it also seems as though more aging winemakers are now having greater trouble finding younger replacements upon retirement. This has created an environment in which some vineyards have fallen into disrepair, and has prompted the new plans to restructure the entire area, bringing winemakers together and preserving any vineyards that can be saved. A major hope is that this move will make room in the marketplace for more profitable Bordeaux vineyards and improve the overall quality of wine produced in the region.



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