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Angry French Winemakers Flood Highway With Spanish Vino

Wine, wine everywhere and not a drop to drink

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A group of French winemakers flooded a highway with thousands of gallons of wine earlier this week, in apparent protest of the high volume of Spanish wine being imported into the country. Decanter reports that since last last year, French vintners have been incensed about the rise in Spanish wine imports into France. The government has done little to stop the trade, so the French took matters into their own hands last week and hijacked five wine tankers. They emptied the trucks' wine stores into the street, causing a flood of tens of thousands of gallons of red and white wine. Unfortunately, there was not a single cheese truck in sight.

The Telegraph reports that the French winemakers "poured the equivalent of 90,000 bottles of red and white down the drain, daubing the words 'vin non conforme' (non-compliant wine) on the tankers' sides."

This isn't the first time French winegrowers have expressed anger over imports of Spanish wine. In 2005, a shadowy group of so-called "wine terrorists" known as "the Crav" claimed responsibility for a string of similar (and often much more violent) attacks. The Telegraph reported that, in addition to throwing "sticks of dynamite" at agriculture ministry offices in Montpellier and Carcassonne, "activists also blew off the cellar door at La Baume winery, near Béziers, and scrawled graffiti on the walls."

In 2015, Spain was the world's largest exporter of wines (according to El País), but still lagged behind France in terms of revenue generated from wine exports. The biggest buyer of Spanish wine? France, where it is said to be cheaper to import the beverage rather than grow it.