European Union guideline VS. the Law of King Louis XV ?

Louis XV. and other Kings did not allow to plant new wineyards in the Cognac region… at least there were hard restrictions. But now the European Commision wants to change that. They are planning to completely deregulate the wine sector in Europe – a major reform. The goal is a sustainable and competitive wine sector in Europe. This is why the production structure is supposed to be adapted.

For Francois I. and Louis XV., such a threat would have probably lead to a direct military mobilization… Napoleon would have considered an invasion of Bruxelles. That would have been there style. But France changed. A lot of things changed.

What does this mean for Cognac?

Basically such a reform could change the whole Cognac structure. But a Pineau producer, which sells eaux-de-vie to Hennessy told Cognac Expert:

I do not think this abolition of the original rights would change anything at all.

Not for us at least. Perhaps the big houses can benefit from it. Let’s see, it is really hard to tell. The bigger houses will always control the international, big part of the market. And the smaller producers have their niches customers. This will not change. “

... just planted!

Planting rights and the grubbing-up scheme would be abolished: latest on the 1st of August 2010. Originally the plan was, to have a rapid adjustment of the whole wine sector.
The proposal also included the idea to extend the rights until 2013. This would mean one would have time to sell or buy of planting rights: The least competitive, smaller producers would be probably encouraged to sell their planting rights. The idea is, that competitive producers would then be able to make their production bigger.

But the abolition plans, the European Commission has proposed, do not find much love. France made their position perfectly clear: It’s not acceptable for them. The European Commissioner of Agriculture, Dacian Ciolos, has been confronted with serious concerns about the abolition plans. For some player in the business, the planting rights seem to be highly important and useful.

The French now hope, that the guideline will not be passed in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Here you find the text from the European Union
Text about French resistance

Comments (5)

  1. Hermann March 13, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    This is really interesting, I didn’t know that at all. So I suppose this will be a hot topic this year. I just wonder what would happen if anyone could plant wineyards in the 6 areas.. it would lead to a higher amounts of juice and at the end of the day it would have a very long term effect on the Cognac sales themselves.

  2. Stephanie March 14, 2010 at 3:10 am

    I don’t understand why the European Union has so much power, even in the agricultural sector.. For my taste those people in Bruxelles have far too much influence.

  3. Hermann March 15, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    agreed – the european union has far too much power. cognac is a cultural treasure and shouldn’t be influenced by Bruxelles..

  4. Tor March 16, 2010 at 12:47 am

    I also agree with Stephanie! And I can`t understand why the EU bother to interfer in such “details”
    Why not use the power such a constellation of many countries have, to something more important……
    And if they can`t think of something more important, call me.

  5. Patrick March 16, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Well, the European Union does not want to abolish Cognac but deregulate the market – which is basically a correct idea.

    The rules and planting rights have no longer a economic reason and the consumers do not benefit from this situation.

    If the Cognac region, for example, would have more vineyards for producing and distilling Cognac, the competition would rise. Simple as that.

    So sometimes it’s really important that the union interfers. look at Greece.

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