Some wine news from France!

And back with some news about my favorite or one of , pastimes that is wines.  In my belle France ,there is always something about wine even if with the dacronian modes of living today they are trying to eliminated. I have written several posts on wine and this is another one with news from various sources I follow here and have translated.

When the number of cafes continues to decrease in France (they were 38,800 in 2016 against 45,080 in 2011 according to Statista), Paris is an exception. According to different studies, the City of Lights had 14,363 cafes and restaurants in 2017. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris and Île-de-France thus recorded an 11% increase in the number of these types of shops between 2014 and 2017.

But those who continue to appreciate a good bottle, and there are more and more of them, especially in Paris; no longer hesitate to push the door of one of the 600 or so Parisian cellars shops, almost a quarter of wine merchants have developed their bar. wine and more than 60% offer delicatessen products. La Grande Épicerie du Bon Marché cellars has a clientele 80% Parisians. True national pride, wine is above all a marker of the strong identity of French gastronomy, especially in Paris. Alain Ducasse and his head sommelier, Gérard Margeon offer, in the four brasseries of the capital, very beautiful wines at affordable prices.

What comfort the 87% of Parisians who drink wine in restaurants (against 81% for all of France), but who find the wines too expensive. It must be said that, according to Statista, wines are 26% more expensive in gourmet restaurants in Paris than in the rest of France, and 15% in independent restaurants and bistros. (Of course Paris carries a price!)

Matthieu Bosser, co-founder of the Les Vignobles Parisiens  (55 Rue de Turbigo 3éme) in 2015, succeeded in making wine in the heart of Paris. Of course, his grapes do not come from Paris or even from Ile-de-France, but they are transported by refrigerated truck from Visan, in the Rhône valley. All winemaking and maturing are then carried out in Paris, or at least were given the success of the Parisian winegrowers, the company had to expand and create a winery in Saint-Denis, even if the aging is always done in the Marais in their barrel cellar.

The Les Vignobles Parisiens has already taken the plunge with 10 hectares of vines have already been planted, in organic conversion, in the plain of Versailles and 13 others will be planted this year. The land has a flush of limestone, on the Davron plateau, in the Yvelines (dept 78), 140 meters above sea level. While waiting for the vines to enter production, the young company vinifies and ages in Montreuil, in Seine-Saint-Denis (dept 93) , wines made from grapes from different French regions. The latest highlight is the installation on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower of wine-making tanks and barrels for the aging of part of the 2019 harvest, from the Ile-de-France vineyards.

An effort to revive the first vineyard in France which had some 42,000 hectares at its peak in the 18C, before completely disappearing after WWII. The numbers are

14,363 cafes and restaurants were identified in Paris in 2017, which represents 61.3% of Ile-de-France establishments (Source: CCI de Paris Île-de-France). 604 wine merchants are established in Paris, i.e. + 11% between 2014 and 2017 (Source: CCI of Paris Île-de-France). 8,800 bars and restaurants in Paris have an IV license, which allows them to sell alcohol (Source: CCI de Paris Île-de-France). 8.84 restaurants per 1,000 inhabitants in Paris far ahead of Lyon (5.62), Bordeaux (6.77) or Marseille (5.22) (Source: CCI de Paris Île-de-France). 5.40 euros average price of a glass of wine in a restaurant or an independent bistro in Paris. An amount which rises to 9.10 euros in a gourmet restaurant (Source: OpinionWay for Wine Paris). 52% of wine consumers in Paris consider themselves to be enlightened amateurs  (Source: Wine Paris). 250 sommeliers are members of the Paris and Île-de-France Sommeliers Association.

In other front, Champagne sales fell 1.6% in 2019 to 297.5 million bottles, but the overall turnover of the sector increased by 2%, announced the Comité Champagne , the ex- Interprofessional committee for Champagne wines. In terms of exports, the European Union is on the rise again (+ 1%) while the rest of the world has seen its growth slow (+ 0.7%). Winegrowers’ Champagnes have jumped almost 18% in major exports (Americas, Asia), with 3.4 million bottles sold. Same trend on this market for cooperatives with an increase of almost 7% (5 million bottles).

2019, was a great year for French wines and spirits for export. Driven in particular by the return of volume, thanks to good harvests, the sector recorded a turnover of 14 billion euros, an increase of 5.9%. Over the year as a whole, 194.6 million cases of 12 bottles (+ 0.7%) left the country, for a balance of 12.7 billion euros (+ 8.5%). Federation of Wine and Spirits Exporters of France (FEVS), announce these are trompe l’oeil results, international trade and political tensions are weighing on exports and herald a difficult year 2020 as told during a press conference on the Wine Paris-Vinexpo show. The first three markets, the United States, the United Kingdom and China, which represent 50% of total turnover, are indeed surrounded by uncertainties. Anticipation of the application of US taxes of 25% in the first case and of Brexit in the second.

The Trump administration has taxed French, Spanish and German still wines since October 18 2019 by 25%, in retaliation for the preferential treatment that the EU would accord to the aircraft manufacturer Airbus ( nothing to do with each other but here are the Americans again) Importers, distributors has said that given the number of intermediaries, a 25% surcharge is equivalent to an increase of 60% to 70% in stores, says Michel Chapoutier, a large merchant and producer in the Rhône Valley.

One general view on Champagne.  At the head of the wines and spirits business of LVMH, Philippe Schaus reviews the various actions carried out by his group, in particular with regard to sustainable development.

Living Soils brings together all the activities that they have implemented, whether in favor of reducing water consumption, inputs in viticulture, but also with regard to biodiversity, the carbon footprint or the consumption of energy, etc. They are currently building a new research center in Champagne in which are investing 20 million euros. When we talk about Living Soils, it is the future of Moët Hennessy that is in question. Just as we would like the Dom Pérignon and Moët & Chandon brands to be one of the most beautiful brands in the world of wines and spirits in a hundred years.

For Brexit, he continues, we do not yet know, in details what will be the results of negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom on the new import and export conditions for wines and spirits, he said. We are in absolute uncertainty. But we believe that the English will continue to consume champagne, that the Europeans will continue to consume whiskey and that solutions will be found. Amen!

And he continues ; we are growing almost everywhere in the world. In Eastern Europe, which continues to catch up and its purchasing power compared to Western Europe. Africa is taking an important place especially for champagne and cognac. In India, we have very little presence because we do not have local brands. China is experiencing strong growth, but above all, for us, the United States continues to be the market that most drives the growth of our business.

France dominates in sparkling wines with Champagne. It is the country with the most prestigious wines. It is a world where France fulfils a very beautiful role and a very beautiful position. Champagne is more or less 300 million bottles. In terms of volume it is frozen since we are in an appellation area which is 100% exploited to date. Champagne represents today in this immense sparkling wine market 2 to 3% of the production but it is the top of the pyramid. The future of Champagne depends on our ability to continue to develop our brands and create value through price. It is a production which is very expensive therefore it must be sold dear.

Investing in rosé corresponds to several ideas. This color has undergone an important evolution in recent years since it has risen in quality thanks to producers such as Château d’Esclans and others. In this world, the rosé from Provence has taken on a particular stature. It is considered the excellence of rosé. We are the leaders of Champagne, we can be the leaders of rosé. We were interested in different actors, the most important being Château d’Esclans. Because it is the American market leader and there is an extraordinary personality behind this wine (Sacha Lichine). That is to say the search for excellence, freedom, entrepreneurship, the right balance between tradition and modernity. Besides that, we bought a smaller property called Château du Galoupet, by the sea, which will allow us to do different things. The North American market remains the main market for Provence rosé today, but we also plan to develop the United Kingdom, like the Germanic countries, and even Italy and other European countries. And also Japan.

We launched the Volcan tequila two years ago near Guadalajara, (Mexico) in our own distilleries. We are in partnership with the Gallardo family, a well-established Mexican family. This tequila was launched in the United States and Mexico and we are going to launch Volcan in Europe for the first time this year. We will start with Spain. We, also, acquired an American whiskey two years ago called Woodinville. It works very well. We are the leader in Washington State, in the United States. We are gradually developing its presence in the various American states and it works very well.

The above interview came out in Le Figaro Vins.

An unique event coming on from February 29 to March 1, 2020, find the fourth edition of the Rare Grape Variety Fair at the Saint-Etienne Chapel in Beaune, Côte d’Or dept 21 Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region. The schedules are: Saturday February 29 from 10h to 20h. Sunday March 1 from 10h to 17h. Location: Chapelle Saint-Etienne Place Félix Ziem, Beaune. Price: from 5 € . More info here in French : Cepages rares at Beaune

And that is all folks ,for now at least. Hope you enjoy the post on the wonderful world of wines and of course France!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


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