Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Monday, 8 June 2020

Touraine producer becomes general secretary of AREV: an interview (part two)

Aynard de Clermont-Tonnerre
general secretary of AREV

Aynard took up his new post on Monday 1st June. This is the second part of my interview with him. The first part is here

In the first part we talked about how the AREV works along with its successes, strengths and weaknesses. This second part covers the current and future agenda.

Naturally the effects of the coronavirus crisis is at the top of the agenda.

"We have and are pushing for plantation rights for 2020 to be held over into 2021. Also for permission for vineyard workers from countries like Romania to travel.

The virus, along with the 25% tax imposed by Trump on wine imports into the US, has disrupted and destablised the wine economy we need measures to allow distillation of excess stock so that producers have enough capacity for accommodating the forthcoming 2020 vintage. We think some two to three million hectolitres should be distilled. We are looking for 80€ per hectolitre for appellation wines (AC, DOC, DOCG etc.), 65€ per hl for IGP and 50€ for Vin de France or its equivalent in other European countries. Given the importance of wine in countries like France, Spain and Italy etc. the EU is not providing the wine industry enough money to come through this crisis.

Distillation isn't, however, the sole answer. We need to look at making wine, which is made for immediate consumption to last longer. This can be done by looking at the process of wine-making – maturation and bottling later. This is something, for instance, that Touraine Oisly producer and member of InterLoire, Lionel Gosseaume, is looking to do this for Touraine Sauvignon. Making wines for immediate consumption last longer will give producers more time to sell their wines before they deteriorate."    

Putting the add the ingredients and any additives in wine on the label has been controversial with many wondering why if all the ingredients in processed food are listed why not the same for wine.

"It is a question of the best way to do this, which is a long process. We think that it is the actual ingredients in the finished and bottled wine that should be on bottles and listed on the back label." 

Jim: However, this is not going to satisfy vegetarians and vegans, who will want to know whether animal products have been used in the wine-making, for instance in clarification.

Harmonising organic wine certification and defining natural wine
"AREV is involved in the discussions on achieving an agreed organic and bio-dynamic certifications that covers all of Europe and in time the United States, so avoiding a multiplicity of certification. Similarly there are currently no Pan-European vegan rules. Nor any real legal definition of natural wine. AREV can help to find solutions to achieve agreement.   

Climate change and the environment
"Clearly we are and will be working to see how the wine industry copes with the effects and implications of climate change. Also regarding the environment reducing the use of pesticides is another item on the agenda. This is taking longer than expected. We are very firmly against the use of GM vines. However, there are other techniques, such as resistant hybrids, emerging that are more respectful of nature that could be interesting."

Being general secretary of AREV must be a challenging and fascinating role at the best of times:  liaising with wine producers and wine organisations across Europe and at the time making sure that Europe's wine voice is heard and listened to in Brussels. Covid-19 makes this even more challenging.       

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