On August 1, it will cease to be mandatory for winemakers in France to deliver their pressed skins to a distillery.
This means that growers now have several options for what to do with the skins after pressing. They can either continue to send them to a distillery or they can use them as nutrients in the vineyard or they can convert them into bio-gas.
The decision is not popular with the some 50 distilleries throughout France. The cooperatives take care of 60% of all marc (grape residue) and they have managed to obtain rules that will make it more difficult for growers who decide to do something else than sending the marc to the distillery.
For all other uses, the producers have to prove that they have not pressed the grapes too hard. This is done by weighing the marc and by doing an alcohol analysis at an approved laboratory. If the marc is going to be used in the vineyard the grower also have to make a plan for this and submit it to the relevant authorities, especially the police authority for water protection.
I don’t think the distilleries have anything to worry about. It does seem easier just to send the marc to them.
Read more on La Vigne
This post is also available in: Swedish