Vine Removal – European Commission Approval of the French State Aid Scheme for the Compensation of Wine Companies for the Permanent Removal of Vines in Gironde for an Amount of 30 Million Euros 

The European Commission has approved the French state aid scheme of 30 million euros for the compensation to vine growers for the sanitary removal of vines in Gironde. 

This plan was put in place to compensate vine growers in Gironde who are currently facing significant material and financial difficulties that prevent them from maintaining their vineyards. These vine abandonments lead to the spread of the golden flavescence disease, characterized by vine yellowing, a decrease in grape quality, and drying of the clusters, which can result in total yield losses and can affect active vineyards through contagion. 

The plan aims to both reduce production, which is too high compared to decreasing consumption demand and a closure of export markets, and to limit the devastating effects of golden flavescence. 

This plan aims to help vine growers by offering a grant of 6,000 euros per hectare removed. The state aid of 30 million euros can be increased by 8 million euros and will be supplemented by financing in the amount of 19 million euros from the Bordeaux Wine Interprofessional Council (CIVB) and 10 million euros from the Nouvelle Aquitaine Region. 

The vine removal program isthree-fold: sanitary removal followed by reorientation of plots toward other agricultural activities (financed by CIVB), sanitary removal followed by reforestation of abandoned plots (proposed by the Alliance Forêt Bois group), and sanitary removal followed by conversion to woodland or natural area (financed by the State). 

The project includes several phases: an initial phase that has already taken place, calling on vine growers who wish to remove plots of their vineyards in exchange for the specified grant, an effective submission phase for applications during November 2023, and effective vine removal with the disbursement of grants in the autumn-winter of 2023/2024. 

1085 pre-applications have been submitted, representing approximately 20% of the vine growers in Gironde, for the removal of 9251 hectares of vines. The second phase is currently underway and is expected to end in mid-December 2023.