France is spending €200 million to destroy its extra wine since no-one's drinking any

Sweta Gupta
Sweta GuptaSep 04, 2023 | 16:36

France is spending €200 million to destroy its extra wine since no-one's drinking any

The wine will be repurposed into hand sanitizers, cleaning potions, and perfume (Photo Credits: Getty Images)

The French government is uncorking €200 million (approximately Rs 17 billion) to tackle a grape-sized problem: too much wine and not enough takers. 

You've got it! They're literally making money while saying au revoir to wine!

But this isn't just any wine woe; it's a cocktail of challenges. Craft beer has lured wine lovers away, overproduction has flooded the vineyards, and the cost of living is giving winemakers a headache.



  • A substantial chunk of that €200 million (Rs 17 billion) will be used to rescue the excess wine. 
  • But this isn't your ordinary sip; it'll be repurposed into hand sanitisers, cleaning potions, and even a hint of perfume. 
  • Plus, winegrowers might just switch their grapes for olives with some of this cash.


  • It is all being done to prevent the wine market from going sour and to help vintners rediscover their mojo, says Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau. 
"Prices collapsing... so that wine-makers can find sources of revenue again."
- Marc Fesneau [BBC]
  • Let's rewind to the mid-2000s when Europe faced what they called a "wine lake".
  • It was like a flood of wine because the European Union was handing out subsidies like candy, causing a wine surplus.
  • Fast forward to today, and the EU is still dishing out 1.06 billion euros (Rs 9,464 crore appx) every year for the wine industry.
  • But now, people are sipping more beer and other drinks, not to mention Covid-19 shutting down bars and restaurants worldwide, which hit wine sales hard.

What data says

Well, if you take a sip of European Commission data, it tells a tale of wine woes. 

  • Wine consumption is dropping like grapes in Italy (down 7%), Spain (down 10%), France (down 15%), Germany (down 22%), and even Portugal (down a whopping 34%).

So, it's time for the French winemakers to sip, swirl, and adapt to this ever-changing wine landscape.

Bottom line

France is sipping on a glass of innovation, urging the wine world to adapt, or perhaps even switch to olives. 

Cheers to the future! 

Last updated: September 04, 2023 | 16:36
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