All things small and beautiful

Jonathan working his own vineyard in Roussillon

There are about 27,000 professional wine producers with their own winery and label in France and many of them are small, family businesses with an average of 8ha of land.

Why is the wine world still able to support thousands of tiny producers when almost all other forms of food and drink production have become industrialised?

First of all, wine production is quite different from other types of farming. The desirability, and therefore price, of wine varies enormously between regional AOPs (Appellation d’Origine Protégée). 

The land designated for an AOP is limited geographically and the rights to plant vineyards within the AOPs are also controlled. This means that it is not simple for an estate to expand within an AOP.

Secondly, economies of scale which apply to other forms of farming, do not work ...

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