‘ The Grapes of Wrath as France’s Great Wines Feel the Heat ‘


#AceFoodNews – FRANCE – Nov.10 – In the soft light of the chandeliers at Château Ausone, Alain Vauthier veers away from the issue at hand, taking flight into distant centuries, reaching for safe anecdotes, digressing into tales of the Wars of the Roses and racehorses, broken tractors and the bold adventures of his ancestors in Algeria.

Against a backdrop of gold-colored silk tapestries, he mentions the ’47 Cheval Blanc he once drank, finds excuses to talk about lobsters and the early days of television, and to complain about French highway tolls that make it cheaper to fly with budget airlines — anything to avoid talking about the real issue, the issue one no one wants to talk about.

Twice, he says: “I’m not one of those who deny climate change,” and yet, in his elegant way, that’s exactly what he is doing. It’s all very complex, he says, an older man in a short-sleeved shirt who, as a winemaker, has managed to be ranked 273rd on the list of the wealthiest Frenchmen.

Vauthier says there is certainly no “bon problème,” the term used in the region to refer to climate change until recently.

But he does recognize that there is a “faux problème,” one that has been invented. Global warming hasn’t actually been all that disadvantageous, he says, at least not here in Bordeaux, or Bordelais, as the French call it, and certainly not in the vineyards of his Château Ausone, which is permitted to use the classification Saint-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé “A” for its wines.

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