The wine farmers of Charente demonstrated in front of the BNIC offices in Cognac on June 28th. One imagines a crowd in front of the building while the BNIC people hide inside, some standing on the balcony and have Summit Cocktails in the sun.. see image below.

Farmers unhappy

But that is probably not how it looked like and the guys from the BNIC offices should even understand the farmer’s concerns.

Before getting more into it: If you want to know how the Cognac business with its players of farmers and traders work, have a look at this article.

Why are the farmers not d’accord?

It’s all about the affectation parcellaire: Parcel assignment. It’s an engagement of the winegrower to make identified products on parts of his vineyard.

Cognac (and Pineau des Charentes) is limited by quotas because it’s an AOC (and no reasonable producer want to change this). European laws impose AOC products to be declared on a parcel assignment.

Why?

In Charente, the grape variety (Ugni Blanc) can produce : Cognac, Pineau des Charentes, wine, grape juice and all other products from white wine and particularly… brandy!

Cognac production quota is set, each year, by a formula design by representative persons of cognac houses and winegrowers: the BNIC committee.
For 2010, it’s set approximately to 90 hectolitres of wine per hectare. But, Ugni Blanc vineyards can easily produce up to 150 or 200 hl/ha! Then, what can we do with this additional wine? Naturally, this wine can’t be sold at “cognac wine” price: in fact, it’s a low price product compared to cognac wine. So, if no disposition is taken, it can be used to make low cost brandy which can directly compete with cognac!

The affectation parcellaire says: Okay, you can produce all you want, including Brandies, but you have to assign part of your vineyard for each product to limit interactions between AOC and non-AOC production.

So trading houses don’t “play the game” when they don’t clearly indicate quantities they need and especially regarding the price they will pay.

Source: www.sudouest.fr and comment of our readers

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The parcel assignment: Winegrowers in Charente are not happy!

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Max is a spirits expert and speaker, into marketing, technology, startups, and business development. He’s also a farmer. He likes tools and machines, Game of Thrones, and Better Call Saul. Included in his Top 10 Cognacs are the Audry XO and Bache Gabrielsen 1973.Max founded Cognac Expert in 2010 at his family’s estate in Poullignac, in the Cognac region, France. Started as a blog, today Cognac Expert is the world’s largest website about all things Cognac, a blog, and a specialized online shop featuring 800+ different Cognac bottles.

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  1. Avatar

    About affectation parcellaire (parcel assignment): it’s not a prediction of the rate of production. It’s an engagement of the winegrower to make identified products on parts of his vineyard.

    Cognac (and Pineau des Charentes) is limited by quotas because it’s an AOC (and no reasonable producer want to change this). European laws impose AOC products to be declared on a parcel assignment.

    Why?

    In Charente, the grape variety (Ugni Blanc) can produce : Cognac, Pineau des Charentes, wine, grape juice and all other products from white wine and particularly… brandy!

    Cognac production quota is set, each year, by a formula design by representatives persons of cognac houses and winegrowers: the BNIC committee! For 2010, it’s set approximately to 90 hectolitres of wine by hectares. But, Ugni Blanc vineyard can easily product until 150 or 200 hl/ha! Then, what can we do with this wine in surplus? Naturally, this wine can’t be sold at “cognac wine” price: in fact, it’s low price product compared to cognac wine. So, if no disposition is taken, it can be use to make low cost brandy which came direclty compete cognac!

    The affectation parcellaire say: OK, you can produce all you want, including Brandies, but you have to assign part of your vineyard for each product to limit interactions between AOC and non-AOC production.

    But, is true, trading houses don’t “play the game” when they don’t indicate clearly quantities they need and above all price they will pay!

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