Wednesday, September 28, 2005

French angry over wine deal

But the Greeks have reason to be happy...
Greece happy that ‘Retsina’ will be protected. But was it ever really in danger from US producers? I seriously doubt it...

However, the
French wine union blasts EU/US wine deal protecting geographic place names and “styles of wine”, but not because it protects place names and what they view as exclusively their styles of winemaking…they’re quite happy with that part.
Vignerons are purportedly unhappy about the US practices which are to be condoned and legitimized (in their eyes) with this accord. Such as, but not limited to, the addition of water to heavy musts to facilitate fermentation, and the use of wood chips instead of barrels to impart oak flavor [see my post on
water into wine here]. As I stated before…
“[if] the French view this practice as fraudulent, it’s mostly a cultural phenomena: in France with its weather, the only reason anyone would add water is just for that – fraud.Just as we in America tend to think that sugar adds are fraudulent, because here they’re not so common (especially in California).”
That being said, the reality of the conflict lies in nationalism, cultural norms, and declining French wine sales in their domestic market as well as world wide. I’ll get into the “authenticity” debate in a forthcoming post, so I won’t address that subject right here…

And this quote kills me: “…US wine producers will provisionally be able to continue using 14 semi-generic EU names, including classic, clos, vintage, ruby and superior for the next three years, though this may be extended.”

VINTAGE! They object to the use of the word “vintage”?! How retarded is that??
And what about “clos”...? Will Clos du Bois become merely "du Bois"? Or is that too French also...???

I had no idea those were some of the terms agreed to.
But WTF! Why don't we just mutually agree to use no flippin' French whatsoever...& we can outlaw their use of any English whatsoever!

The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa) had a great quote from one of the French lawmakers in the Languedoc-Rousillon area where he blasts the US for only having been around for a few centuries, in contrast to the EU which has been making wine since the Romans…we have no “history” and must therefore be unworthy – at least in the eyes of the EU vintners – to improve on how wine is made.

Just where does he think the US vintners came from? Mars?


Anonymous Smitty said...

So where is this mythical village in France called "Vintage"?

Is there one called "Classic" or "Clos" or "Superior"?

One wonders if we will be permitted to continue to call the state of Luisiana by that name as well. And what of Macon, GA.?

September 28, 2005 10:46 AM  
Anonymous Al said...

Ah yes, I fondly remember summers of my youth spent in the quaint French village of Vintáge (accent on the last syllable, please).

September 29, 2005 5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"& we can outlaw their use of any English whatsoever!"

As I understand it, the French do outlaw the use of English in some cases (probably not related to wine) as they feel it dilutes French culture.

September 30, 2005 11:42 AM  
Blogger Huge said...

Sure...but I mean business!
Every english phrase they use, such as, but not limited to "OK", and "Please come help us - the Germans are taking us over again!"

But it does make you wonder where it will stop. If labels such as 'ruby' cannot be applied to wine or 'superior' - both of which are well established words in our language...what's to stop them from demanding that we stop using the term Sauvignon? or 'blanc', or 'Pinot' or 'gris' or just about anything else that was once coined by the French but is now used international?

Something is disturbing and sad to me about removing words from what essentially is the lingua Franca of wine.

September 30, 2005 4:42 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home