by David on June 17, 2007
The Languedoc region of France is producing much more wine than it can sell in a competitive global market. The radical winemakers, the Comité Régional d’Action Viticole (CRAV) has threatened violent action which extends to more than stamping on grapes crossly.
CRAV – which has in the past admitted responsibility for for attacks including the dynamiting of grocery stores and two agriculture ministry offices, burning a car and hijacking a tanker – has issued a one-month ultimatum to recently elected president Nicolas Sarkozy threatening the possibility of deaths if he does not assist the southern French wine industry.
In a videotaped message, CRAV militants in balaclavas warn that ‘blood will flow’ if Nicolas Sarkozy does not act to raise the price of wine.
Just last year, the rerun Judgment of Paris repeated the 30-year old shock of Californians beating the French at a blind tasting. I understand that the French economy has been mishandled a little recently, that France is quite Statist and monocultural, that Poujade and Poujadism was / is French; but it is still remarkable that the evidently economically illiterate French winemakers expect their President to be able to control the cost of wine on an international market.
I was planning on a trip to France soon. Perhaps I won’t be going quite so far South as the Languedoc.
Interesting facts: several years ago in Burgundy I came across the River Yonne and twigged that the city of Lyon takes its name from the Yonne river.
Now I see that Languedoc takes its name from the old Occitan language – Langue (language) d’Oc.
- BBC, French wine-growers go guerrilla
- decanter.com, Deaths not ruled out in CRAV ultimatum to Sarkozy
- Wikipedia, Comité Régional d’Action Viticole