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French vignerons loot Spanish Cava and red wine

Published:  20 October, 2023

French vignerons yesterday (19 October) looted Spanish wine trucks during a road blockade, smashing cases of Freixenet Cava and spilling red wine onto the A9 motorway, south of Perpignan.

Several hundred French vignerons set car tyres alight during the protest at the Boulou toll, near the border with Spain.

Chairman of the Aude Vignerons Association, Frédéric Rouanet, a firebrand militant grower, who spearheaded the protest, has urged the French government to provide a €2million financial rescue package for Aude growers, companies and co-operatives in difficulty.

Videos of the protest taken by regional newspaper L’Independant, show vignerons hijacking a wine truck before throwing bottles of Freixenet Cava onto the road. 

French police looked on as a lorry tank of red wine was spilt onto the road, and a cargo of Spanish tomatoes was set on fire.

Rouanet said the protest was the first of a series of actions aimed at ensuring the survival of Languedoc Roussillon wine producers in Southern France.

The protest follows an arson attack on negociant and wine bottling company CVS in the village of Sallèles d’Aude, during the early hours of 5 October.

Growers sprayed the gates of the company writing ‘No Imports’ and the initials CAV, which stand for Comité d'Action Viticole, a militant group of growers, who in 2013 carried out a bomb attack on Socialist party headquarters in Carcassonne, Southern France. 

The CAV has in the past destroyed vast quantities of imported wine and has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks including the use of dynamite to damage grocery stores, a winery and French agricultural ministry buildings.