Tag Archives | silly

Planting rights, no thank you!

Quite some time back I wrote a guest article on the blog Les 5 du Vin on planting rights. They have moved the blog to a new platform and the article seems to have disappeared. Or I just can’t find it. So here it is again. My article on why the anachronistic and protectionist system […]

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A mermaid carving on a wooden vat

Fat Bastard on video

Arrogant Frog and Fat Bastard are two rather unpleasant brand names for unpretentious French wines. And they happen to be big sellers on the export market. If the names show foreigners’ idea of the French or just what the French think is the opinion of them in other countries, we really don’t know. Now the […]

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Vines from the nursery

Should ”planting rights” be abolished or not?

“Planting Rights” is an archaic system by which winegrowers are not allowed to plant new vines (extend their vineyards) unless they have “planting rights”. Without these “rights” nothing can be planted. It has been in place for many years in the big wine producing countries in Europe, to some extent as counterpart to the government […]

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Vineyard workers on a steep hill

Why the system of Planting Rights should be abolished

“Planting Rights” is an archaic system by which winegrowers are not allowed to plant new vines (extend their vineyards) unless they have “planting rights”. Without these “rights” nothing can be planted. It has been in place for many years in the big wine producing countries in Europe, to some extent as a counter-party to the […]

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A fountain in Antigone, Montpellier

What will be next? No-alcohol vodka?

Actually, that is exactly what the Swedish monopolist retailer Systembolaget has launched, but of the flavoured kind, called “snaps”, or aquavit if you prefer. Basically, aquavit is just a white spirit (vodka is a good start) with some spices. The monopoly has launched a set of 0% akvavits. is there a point? We have not […]

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Fleurie in Beaujolais

Champagne in Beaujolais? Are the Champenois crazy?

We all know that Champagne is protecting its name with an almost fanatical intensity. God help the non-champagne-producer who puts the name of Champagne on the label. We read in the French wine magazine La Revue du Vin de France that the latest region to experience the wrath of the Champagne producers is Fleurie, one […]

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Sexism and equality in wine packaging

What do you think is most suggestive? Stylised pouting lips and the name “Wacky Chicks”, or A young girl with a flimsy skirt (petticoat?), with a wistful man with a flower, and the name “Untouched”? A while back we told you the story of a Swedish wine importer that had had his wine banned from […]

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A vine in flower

Champagne raises yields with 20%

Champagne is one of the few wine regions where the permitted yield is modified almost every year. This is done in an effort to manipulate supply and demand and the prices that champagne sell for. The control organism, the interprofession Comité interprofessionnel des vins de champagne (CIVC), recently decided to raise the maximum yield for […]

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Wacky Chicks Label

Wine and sex: don’t be fooled by pouting lips. You may be fined.

The Swedish monopoly retailer Systembolaget has cancelled sales of a wine brand called Wacky Chicks whose label is covered with pouting lips or lipstick prints, according to The monopolist considers the label to be in violation of current marketing regulations: “The combination of pouting lips and the name gives the impression, in our opinion, […]

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A fence as a wind shield in a vineyard

Vine planting rights: a return to protectionism?

A few years back all EU countries agreed to a reform of the agricultural policies concerning the wine sector. One element was to abolish the existing system with planting rights, that decrees that a grower has to ask for strictly controlled planting rights from the authorities. One consequence is e.g. that a successful producer cannot […]

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Tied vine

Freedom to the vines? Should planting rights be abolished?

A few years ago the EU countries agreed a big reform of the wine production sector. A big part of this was the abolishment in time of the “planting rights” system. (It was also suggested that chaptalisation, adding sugar to increase the alcohol level, should be forbidden but winemakers protested too much.) The planting rights […]

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Languedoc to introduce Grand Cru…

Some areas in the Languedoc, that fulfil certain criteria, will be classified as Grand Cru according to a new proposal from the producers association, the CIVL. They want to have two levels: Grands Vins du Languedoc and Grand Cru du Languedoc. Grands Vins will include Minervois, Corbières, Saint Chinian, sparkling Limoux, Malpère, Faugères, Cabardès, muscat […]

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Today’s scoop

We read in The Guardian a long (it feels) article about a wine expert called Tim Hanni who, according to what the Guardian says, recommends that wine consumers should ignore what the wine critics say and drink what they like themselves… And where is the news item? Read more about this revolutionizing opinion:

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Catastrophe relief organisations refuse donations from wine importers

In the newsletter WoW News we read that several catastrophe relief organisations in Sweden have refused or returned donations from wine importers who have wanted to support the work in Haiti. SOS Children’s Villages is one of the (heartless?) organisations. “We don’t accept money from companies who works with guns, pornography, tobacco or alcohol”, says […]

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Another bright bottle idea?

Dom Pérignon, the luxury champagne brand made by Moët & Chandon, i.e. the luxury products group LVMH, has launched a special packaging of the Dom Pérignon bottle for night clubs. It is called “lightskin” and for a reason. It is a tight fitting plastic cover that glows in the dark (maybe so that you can […]

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Sex sells wine

No doubt it can contribute to the sales. The producer is called Domaine de l’Abbaye de Saint Hilaire. The monastic style seems to have been lost a long time ago, judging from their communications. A semi-nude young girl in a gigantic wine glass at a launch party, videos with barely covered ladies who let the […]

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Naked Absolut – Absolut irony

We read in the newsletter WoW News (no, it’s not about computer games!) that Absolut Vodka is launching a new marketing campaign: Naked Absolut: ” In An Absolut World, There Are No Labels” with e.g. the catch phrase Absolute Anticipation. They have launched a special bottle on the theme, without any label. WoW quotes Kristina […]

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Rhone vineyard next location for American ’reality show’

According to a press release from Vignobles Investissement they have been tasked by the Film Commission of Luberon Vaucluse to find a suitable winery location to record a series of reality shows. It is the American producer PBS that is producing the series. Apparently, the programs have already been shot, during the 2009 harvest. When […]

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Just like hand sewn shoes?

Chateau Angélus in Saint Emilion, Bordeaux, is not making hand sewn shoes but something of the sort – haute couture. They destem their grapes by hand. When you make red wine in nine cases out of ten (or more) you destem the grape bunches. Using a destemmer, you feed it with grape bunches and out […]

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AREV wants to go backwards

AREV (l’Assemblée des Régions Européennes Viticoles is some kind of collaboration organisation between some European wine regions. In their latest press release they underline the importance of fighting the EU reform that will abolish planting rights control. Currently (and historically) the European planting rights control means that to be allowed to plant new vines […]

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How much (or how little) wine in Champagne?

There have been lots of discussions in champagne this year on how much the growers will be permitted to harvest. Curiously, the limit is not set until the beginning of September. Wit the crash in champagne sales the big houses wanted to limit the yield to 7500 kg/ha, compared to 13 000 kg/ha last year. […]

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