WINE producers have said they may distil bottles of French AOC into industrial strength alcohol to save their businesses.
With a bumper harvest, but a declining market both in France and abroad, members of the Confederation of French Wine Cooperatives say they may distil 267 million bottles of perfectly drinkable wine.
Although it is common for below standard wine to be converted, over 70 million gallons were distilled into alcohol in 2002, doing the same to AOC controlled wines is considered a drastic move.
This news comes close on the heels of a report claiming the US will overtake France as the world’s largest consumer of wine by 2008.
The distilling of the wine would have to go in front of the EU before it could be undertaken, but vintners would get only one-fifth of the usual market price.