The crux of the problem is that production has to drop and quality has to rise. Too many vines throughout the continent have led to recent subsidies for brandy production getting out of hand. Wine makers figure if they can get money for wine or for the brandy that is distilled from it they might as well keep producing it. The problem is that this has led to gigantic subsidies(up to 1.2billion euros a year) in recent years to help prop up this emergency distillation.
It appears that Mariann is going to try to scrap this program in favor of paying grape growers to tear up vines and reduce production. In the long run this could be a good thing. In Spain alone there are huge areas of Aíren and other second rate grapes that if pulled up could allow in the future for smaller quantities of high quality grapes to be planted. Currently no new plantings can occur till 2010 unless a set of stringent measures are met. I think this will help some, but in the end unless they offer the farmers an alternative it’s going to be hard to get someone who’s family has grown grapes for generations to turn their back on tradition. Other crop suggestions will need to be made for a farmer to turn their back on the land that their family has worked.
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