If French wine suppliers lose out on $220 million, will Christmas be merry in France?

As the Leksand Chamber of Commerce flooded the news with stories of chateaux under threat of closure, the family-owned winemakers behind Karasi Winery-Schloss in the Bordeaux region were putting the finishing touches on Christmas plans for their home town.

“Hopefully everything will work out for everybody and no one will be really upset or worried,” said Karasi’s co-owner, Jean Daniel Trotvet. “There is no reason to be.”

Across France, suppliers and producers are expected to suffer losses after too few grapes were harvested this year. The stakes are especially high for smaller wineries which rely on the stocks of grapes stored throughout the year.

Winemakers in Southern France fear wine losses in some cases of over 200 million euros ($220 million). One of the biggest vineyards, Domaine d’Alleulage, from the Bordeaux region that produces some of France’s top wines, could be facing losses of 55 million euros ($65 million).

As efforts were under way to secure warehouses for at least 1.9 million bottles of wine, the glinting glass of Karasi’s historic Christmas display appeared untouched from reports of crop losses this week.

Karasi produces classic, traditional Bordeaux Bordeaux wines and sells to 45 countries worldwide. They use traditional methods and traditional materials such as oak barrels.

“We are selling the same wine we are making now — tomorrow,” said Jean Daniel Trotvet, Karasi’s chief executive officer.

Javier Garcia Roncaglia, director of Karasi, said a dramatic shortage of grapes had forced them to scale back the number of wines they produce this year and cut back on exports. But he said Karasi will be open for Christmas.

“We are exporting 700,000 bottles more, but we are using lighter barrels than usual,” Garcia Roncaglia said. “We are going to make around 400,000 bottles of wine this year.”

Karasi was founded in 1994 and now exports 90 percent of its production, he said. The wine bottle will “always be in stock and everything will remain full.”

Adding some sunshine to the situation, Karasi’s customers will take joy at Karasi’s new bruschetta station, designed to help new consumers overcome their “foolish English taste.” “That bruschetta [market place] in England has been closed for a few years,” Mr. Trotvet said. “What it needs is tourists.”

Read the full story in Le Parisien


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