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Published:  23 July, 2008

By David Williams

Restructuring in Bordeaux will spell the end for half of Bordeaux's growers in the next 10 years, although the area of land under vine and number of people working in the region will remain the same, according to Jean-Marie Chadronnier, the CEO of leading Bordeaux ngociant Dourthe Kressmann. Speaking at last week's LIWSF, Chadronnier told Harpers that at least 'a third' of Bordeaux's producers were 'obsolete: they work in vineyards that should be brought up to date, have their own cellars which are from the last century and work with a culture that is in the past'. These producers will inevitably go out of business, as the demand for basic wines decreases, leaving larger firms to snap up the vineyards. 'All the coal mines in France have closed,' Chadronnier said. 'We can say that's a shame, but there is no need to have coal anymore. In the same way, there is no need to have common wines any more. [Producers are finding] that the name Bordeaux on the label is no longer enough to sell a cheap wine because there is too much competition in the world now. All of us in Bordeaux must make wines that live up to what consumers expect from the name.' Chadronnier remains upbeat about the current and future health of the region, however. 'Bordeaux has never been in such good shape, and there have been improvements every year. The problems that we have are problems that can be found anywhere in the world, in Australia, in Chile, in the US,' he said. 'I'm not preaching for the reduction of the vineyard area, but for improvements in how we work it. There will be as many people working in Bordeaux in 10 years time as there are now, but the structure will be different.'