Wine is inherently a commercial product; it takes great resources to create it. But in the right hands, winemaking is also a form of art, and it is important for the long term flourishing of winemaking that the artistic dimension is not thoroughly consumed by commercial considerations.
So I agree with Andrew Jeffords’ post on the Decanter website today. In commenting on English wine producers he writes :
“The point all of this out only to explain my dismay when receiving, last week, a 606-word press release from English Wine Producers in which the word ‘industry’ is mentioned no less than eight times…
Do England’s wine producers want to kill us all with boredom? Why do they want the precious, difficult creations they have struggled to bring into the world considered with no more respect that we would give to an extension lead from B&Q? Why do they want to assume for themselves all of the glamour and excitement once mustered by the assembled board of British Leyland?
I’ve never seen the word ‘industry’ yoked to ‘wine’ in France, Italy or Spain. No matter what the scale, grape-growing in continental Europe is considered profoundly agricultural, and the transformation of grapes to wine a culturally significant piece of craftsmanship which, at best, can approach the status of art.
If wine is considered nothing but product it will no longer attract wine lovers whose deep and abiding interest sustains the “industry”.