The French government has announced plans to destroy surplus wine in an attempt to support struggling producers and raise prices.
The alcohol from the destroyed wine will be sold to companies for use in non-food products, such as hand sanitisers, cleaning products, and perfumes.
Discussions with the European Commission resulted in a European regulation, published in June, that authorises and regulates aid for the 2023 wine producing campaign.
It will help the sector to deal with market disruptions encountered in red and rosé wines in the three PDO and PGI segments, as well as wines without GI (Geographical Indication) from wine-growing areas other than Rhône-Provence and Loire Valley Center.
The government is also setting out a strategic plan for the future of the French wine sector to make the necessary adaptations related to climate change and the evolution of domestic and export market demands.
According to the Bordeaux farmers' association, falling demand for wine has led to overproduction, a sharp drop in prices, and severe financial hardship for one in three wine producers.
France: The World's Biggest Wine Producer
Despite all the problems, for the first time in years, France is set to surpass Italy as the world's largest producer of wine in quantity, if the first estimates on the current harvest marked by the heat are confirmed.
Italian farmers lobby group Coldiretti estimates a production drop of 14%, to around 43 million hl, compared to 50 million recorded last season, making 2023 one of the worst years in the history of the Italian wine production in the last century.
In France, despite the damage caused by fungal disease Peronospera and drought, estimates from the French Ministry of Agriculture show that production could range between 44 and 47 million hl, in line with the average for the period 2018-2022, while Spain is expected to produce 36 million hl.