Vine pull schemes
are programs whereby grape
growers receive a financial incentive to pull up their grape vines
, a process known as arrachage
in French. A large program of the kind was initiated by the European Union
) in 1988 to reduce the wine lake
glut from overproduction and declining demand. In the first five years of the program, growers, mainly in southern France and southern Italy, were paid to destroy 320,000 hectares or 790,400 acres of vineyard
. This was the equivalent to the entire vineyard area of the world’s fourth largest grower of grapes, the United States. The EU has recently resumed a vine pull scheme and Plan Bordeaux
proposes additional vine pulls to increase prices for Bordeaux wine
. Many older growers have come to expect vine pull payments as they near retirement and view them as a retirement bonus.
Other vine pull schemes have been implemented in order to encourage destruction of unpopular indigenous varieties and their replacement with internationally popular varieties. This has been the case, for example, in Argentina, Chile, and New Zealand.
- Robinson, Jancis (Ed.) The Oxford Companion to Wine. Oxford: Oxford University Press, second edition, 1999.