Thousands of litres of Spanish wine flowed on the motorway in Southern France after a heated protest by local winemakers from the Languedoc-Rousillon region turned into a hijacking episode. Five tanker trucks filled with mass produced inexpensive wine from Spain were sabotaged last Monday.
The French winemakers protest saw the equivalent of 90,000 bottles ending up on the road while approximately 150 vintners cheered.
The action was unleashed due to the indignation of producers, overwhelmed by the enormous amount of Spanish wine coming in through the border. They claim that often the wine is fraudulently labeled as “made in France”.
As reported in Decater, Frédéric Rouanet, president of the winegrowers of Aude, says that French producers see themselves priced out of their own market by what they consider to be unfair competition from bulk low-quality imported wine.
However, not everyone is so indulgent. Olivier Casteja, of Château Doisy-Védrines in Sauternes was approached on the matter and commented: ‘I do not know all of the details of this incident, but winemakers have to accept competition – we are all in Europe.”
The Languedoc region is home to militant winemaker group CRAV, which is known to have taken similar actions in the past to denounce the lack of government support for domestic producers.