The truth about French vigneron subsidies

Winemakers in France can get state grants to replace vineyards or to buy environmentally-friendly equipment

Grants for winemakers are anything but simple handouts, says Jonathan Hesford

Every now and then I hear people from outside the wine industry making remarks about French vignerons living on subsidies and grants, paid for by the taxpayer and the EU.

So I thought it would be interesting to write about what subsidies or grants are available to vignerons and what they have to do to get them.

In France, viticulture is not covered under the EU Common Agricultural Policy that pays farmers every year based on the amount of land they own. Vignerons can only apply for grants and subsidies for investments or improvements.

The most common of these is replanting vines. The French state keeps very tight control over the planting of vineyards. Every single plot is measured to the nearest square centimetre and recorded on a government database along with its regional designation for wine production, Appellation d’ ...

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