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?
“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. “
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.