French Wine Business.....

Pull quote from a recent news article at

_'…we attempted to sum up the case in early September (see item #4, here) – a thankless task given just how much of the dispute hinges on procedure within the CIVL and historical arrangements, as well as the fallout coinciding with the election of a new head, Christophe Bousquet, in July.

Back then, the Union of Mediterranean Viticultural Companies (UEVM), part of whose remit is to nominate members to the CIVL’s trading council, broke with 20 years of tradition and did not name any representatives of direct-marketing companies to the group. The reasoning being (as best we can work out) that direct-marketing companies did not especially rely on the CIVL for their wellbeing and yet had major representation in the running of the pan-regional organisation.

This promptly saw the direct-marketing groups (which includes the likes of Gérard Bertrand, Jeanjean, and Bonfils – not exactly mom-and-pop outfits) blow their top, bringing a number of regions and personalities into the fray. Numerous appellations (including Corbières, Malepère and Faugères) have threatened to go it alone without the CIVL (they would join the already independent Minervois and Fitou) should the UEVM’s decision be upheld.

To give you a taste of the affair, the CIVL is trying to distance itself from the UEVM’s move, claiming it is not privy to the latter’s decision-making. Meanwhile, the Regional Federation of Direct Marketers is having none of that, claiming that the CIVL is not abiding by its own statutes.

Add to all this the fantastically titled “Obligatory Voluntary Contributions” which many direct marketers pay to the CIVL, but which do not necessarily get them a seat at the CIVL’s table, and you get, in the words of the man hearing the case, Marc Pouyssegur, “a complex issue”.'_