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This website could be banned in France!

An interesting, if worrying article by Elin McCoy at Bloomberg, casts a pessimistic view of the French authorities’ approach to wine and alcohol:-

In January, the Paris County Court ruled that the French Web site of giant Dutch beer producer Heineken NV was illegal because it contained advertising. Cautious wine and spirit companies now refuse French consumers access to their sites.

“Sorry, by the law of your country you are not permitted to view the content of this site” is the message that pops up when the French try to enter the Web site for Australia’s Orlando Wines, owned by Paris-based Pernod-Ricard SA. France joins the same censorship ranks as Iran and Saudi Arabia. Even people in North Korea get to peek.

The ban could affect all online wine sales and tourism sites that mention wine and wine festivals.

This all seems to be very perverse for a nation which has a long and proud tradition of both making excellent wines and having wine and food so central to its culture. Its a little difficult to envisage being able to write very much about France, French Food, Wine and Travel without reference to wine. But then the French are always a little perverse – wine labelling laws which confuse rather than enlighten; Sundays often being busier shopping days than Mondays; and as the prospects for the French wine trade look dire in the current economic climate. rules are introduced which are likely to disadvantage one of their key industries.

I’d even need to think again about articles on French Christmas Markets where mulled wine is on offer – please accept our apologies if this website has damaged your health or your morals!!

You can read the article here

(The image comes from a campaign in France against the Loi Evin (named after a French Health minister) which started this madness.)

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