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French Wine: The role of revolution and rioting in establishing it’s relationship with “place”
Many of the rules and regulations surrounding the production of French wines have been heavily debated and criticised over the years. They have been accused of limiting French wine’s ability to compete with new world marketing successes. Appellation d’Origine Controlee represents France’s much imitated system of controlling both geographically based names and indeed production variables associated with these AOCs in terms of “place”.
Prior to the development of the Appellation d’origine controlee laws in 1937, France bore witness to two key wine related violent episodes in the early 1900s.This paper will examine both the Southern Wine Revolt of 1907 and the Champagne Riots of 1911. The author will try to establish what role, if any, these events had in the development of the current AOC laws and whether much more recent incidents of “wine terrorism” by CRAV (Comite d’Action Regionale Viticole) are actually an effort to “reignite the spirit of 1907” as is claimed in a recent CRAV videocast addressed to Nicholas Sarkozy and aired on the France 3 television channel in Languedoc Roussillon .
Murphy, B. The Role of Revolution and Rioting in French Wine's Relationship with Place. Chapter from "France, Ireland and rebellion :proceedings of the 5th AFIS Conference, Cork, 2009 /edited by Yann B©♭vant, et al.