Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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France, the country that produces more fine wine than any other, and in which wine is so firmly embedded in the culture that such French people as are interested in wine have a quasi-spiritual relationship with it. Per capita wine consumption in France has fallen dramatically, however, from over 100 l a year in 1977 to under 50 l by the early 21st century, thanks to social changes, increased restrictions on advertising alcohol, and on driving with it in the bloodstream. By the end of the 20th century, wine export markets were also being shrunk by competition from other wine-producing countries with their own wine surpluses, a strong euro, and a distinct lack of marketing skills, particularly a lack of brands, on the part of the French wine industry, although the rest of the wine-producing world increasingly envied France’s primacy in wine traditions.