No wine-producing country on Earth has as many organizations associated with wine as France.
And the Bordeaux region is a hub of such groups.
The Inter-professional Council for Bordeaux Wines (Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux) is a membership association of winegrowers (13,000) and shippers (400).
They are members of two federations and are divided into structural trade associations (syndicats), 36 for the winegrowers, two for the shippers (negociants).
In addition, there are other horizontal organizations, including:
* Promotional bodies (e.g., Le Conseil des Vins du Medoc-Le College des Vins de St. Emilion)
* Co-op cellars
* Groups of vineyard owners anxious to promote certain types of wines (e.g., l’Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux)
Other institutions, such as the National Institute for Controlled Appellations (Institut National des Appellations d’Origine) and the world-famous Institute of Oenology in Bordeaux, also are an integral part of the Bordeaux system.
At a time when quality is a recurrent theme, the importance of these associations is far from negligible.
Wine is big business in Bordeaux, the Journal Inquirer points out. It dominates the agricultural scene, employs more people than any other sector, and generates massive export income.
Moreover, wine has enjoyed this position in Bordeaux for centuries. With so much at stake, it is logical that organizations would be founded to protect existing business franchises and promote future growth.