A Future With Far More Vineyards?

Predicting the future is tricky business. But it’s necessary in the world of business in order to ensure profitability and stability.

What will the future of winemaking in Europe look like? That’s a big question being debated by grape growers, winemakers and politicians now that the European Union has introduced legislation that would allow a massive expansion of vineyard plantings across the continent.

You can read Decanter’s full report by clicking here

Breaking it down to the basics:

  • Most of the current wine-producing countries (France, Italy, Germany, et al.) oppose the plan.
  • Many of the emerging countries that have not had significant vineyard plantings in the past support the plan.
  • Supporters say vineyard expansion would reduce production costs, and ultimately result in more affordable wines for more people.
  • Opponents say it would water down profits in an era when maintaining historic price points has been challenging due to a struggling global economy.

My opinion? More wine for the masses would seem to be a noble cause. But from a purely selfish perspective, I would hope that the upper tiers of quality bottlings could be maintained, because a special occasion calls for a special wine — not the same wine consumed with a mid-week spaghetti dinner.

Ultimately, an expansion of the production of everyday table wines probably would introduce many more people to the enjoyment of wine drinking. Over time, a good number of those people likely would “trade up,” thus helping to maintain the stability of the upper-tier market. 

At least, that’s the outcome I’d like to see, should the vineyard expansion proposal go through. How nice it would be to have a crystal ball that actually worked…

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What do you think about the European Union’s proposal to expand vineyard plantings? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below.

Posted in The Wine Business
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