France, one of the world’s largest wine producers, will help its wine sector distil surplus stocks in the face of an economic crisis brought about by the war-provoked inflation.

The agriculture ministry in February announced plans to provide EUR 80 million of national and European financing for a distillation campaign in the summer. A second campaign with the same amount of funding, or a combined up to EUR 160 million, could start in October.  

French media reported that wine will be turned into industrial alcohol for use in the pharmaceuticals and cosmetics sectors. Winegrowers tell the media that overproduction and reduced domestic consumption have left them with full cellars.

Wine consumption in France has declined over the years as people change their drinking habits due to reasons such as less families dining together.

France also moved to distil unsold wine during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.