GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Alain Juppé, mayor of Bordeaux and French foreign minister from 2011 to 2012, has come out strongly against a French Senate pre-project to tax wine in order to develop programmes against alcohol abuse.
Juppé spoke up at a press conference 21 May after the national organization of Young Farmers protested Friday against the proposed tax, saying that such a move, in the guise of a public health measure, would have very negative consequences for France’s wine industry.
The group pointed out in a statement published Friday 17 May that the wine industry contributes significantly to the country’s trade balance, with a surplus of euros 7 billion.
The agricultural minister, Stéphane La Foll, quickly said no such tax increase is on the books, that a commission has studied the option, but the farmers and Bordeaux mayor can relax for now.
Juppé, for his part, says Bordeaux is keen to develop wine tourism, with visits to estates and more emphasis on helping wine-lovers learn about the cultural aspects but also the dangers associated with wine. Drinking in moderation is something that must be learned, he told media Tuesday.
The region is holding Bordeaux fête le vin, later this year and is developing a center, Cité de la civilisation et du vin, expected to open in 2015.