6:30 am news – Coronavirus: worried winegrowers, grape harvests in danger


French wines in turmoil. Faced with the coronavirus crisis and the accumulation of unsold products, some winegrowers are planning not to harvest this summer, due to lack of space. In Gaillac, in one of the oldest vineyards in France, the president of independent winegrowers in the Tarn, Nathalie Vayssette believes that “we are 15 days in advance and if we continue like this, we risk attacking the harvest around August 15“.

At other times, this prospect would be great, but due to the epidemic, the tanks are still full. Cédric Carsenac, who chairs the house of Gaillac wines, regrets that “the only storage on the Tarn vineyard is estimated at two harvests, that is to say that this will necessarily prevent certain cellars from harvesting in 2020“.” If the cellars are full, apart from drinking the wine, I don’t know how we harvest, “he adds.

To empty the tanks, State proposes to send 15% of production to distillation, which is far too little according to the winegrowers, who ask twice as much to free them. This maneuver is difficult for winegrowers to accept, as Nathalie Vayssette points out: “The 2019 vintage was exceptional and it was heartbreaking to send it to distillation but there are no other solutions if the markets do not open today” . That will cause a considerable shortfall since the wine sent to the distillery is paid four times cheaper than if it had been sold in bottle.

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