Somebody was telling me (and this really sounds way to good to be true!) that in Laos you can hop on the rubber rings and follow the course of the river where there are bars dotted all along the bank- and whenever you need a top up, or if you spot a bar you like, you can just pull over and get a beer… now i don’t know about you, but if this is true I’m thinking Laos could be worth a visit. So when i heard the words Wine Lake…. you can imagine where my mind went first! You can also imagine the disappointment to find out there wasn’t a lake you can float around to different bars and top up your wine glass!
So what is this Wine Lake- if its not the greatest holiday destination in the world??? Well essentially it refers to a surplus of wine produced in the European Union every year. They have actually been producing about 1.7….. BILLION!!! bottles of wine more than they sell… So with this excess wine the have this practice called “emergency distillation” whereby they just distill the wine and turn it into industrial alcohol! Now this is far from ideal really- for 2 reasons (at least!) One: it costs the European union 500 Million euros every year to carry out this “Emergency Distillation!”
And Two: It means Grape prices have dropped, and when the profit falls out of anything… there really isn’t much incentive for anyone to keep plugging away at it! So is our romantic view of wine growers throughout Europe in decline? We see it here with our own farmers, our fishermen, etc. so really at the end of the day unless something is done this could bring about a change whereby the gap between the rich Chateau’s, Bodegas, and Villa’s and the poorer Wine producers widens and as such all we are left with is mass produced wine….
So what is being done to drain this Wine Lake- aside from temporary fixes which cost us 500million a year… Well it seems that we have to uproot a lot of the vines throughout Europe- in Bordeaux alone the plan is 17,000 hectares of vines! Chances are this will solve problem number 1, but i don’t know what its going to do for problem number 2… But its a situation whereby not everyone can be kept happy!