Senators have unanimously voted in favor of officially making wine a part of French national heritage, which its creators hope will protect the sector from anti-alcohol legislation in the future.
Following the passage of the proposal through the National Assembly, the Senate – France’s Upper House – approved an amendment on Saturday that recognized that “wine, the product of the vine, and its terroirs are part of France’s cultural, gastronomic and rural heritage.”
The proposal was first tabled by Roland Courteau, a politician from Languedoc-Roussillon. Following the Senate's vote he told regional newspaper La Dépeche du Midi: “Wine will no longer by viewed as a commonplace alcoholic drink...wine is now shielded from attacks and cannot be devalued in the future."
“The culture of wine has been part of our heritage for 2000 years...it has played a large part in the fame of our country and especially our reputation as a food capital in the eyes of the world,” said Gerard Bailly, a member of the Senate for the Jura region, who supported its passage. “The work of winegrowers has left a profound imprint on French life and the landscapes of many regions.”
A similar proposal for beer was proposed by an Alsatian parliamentarian but was rejected.
Senate member Didier Guillaume explained: “around the world, wine is France. Beer and spirits are different, and can cause health problems."