“We can’t find it,” said two winemakers

On its 45 hectares, it produces white wine, red wine and armagnac. It is thanks to this brandy that he adjusts his balance sheets, at the cost of more hours of work, but “knowing exactly” where he is going. In the current insurance system, which will evolve in 2023, nothing suits him: the public calamity regime excludes viticulture and he believes that the insurance scheme, although subsidized, does not take into account the real value of the vineyard. Another reason for dissatisfaction: the amount of the deductible, this share of losses remaining borne by the farmer, “increased from 10 to 20%,” he says.

Five-year calculation

Its annual turnover is about 350,000 euros: “We make 55,000 bottles, including 2,500 of armagnac, for sales estimated at 400,000 euros. Even though she lost “half” of her crop this year, she doesn’t regret her choice. “I’ll adjust by doing more armagnac. Already after the 2021 freeze, fifteen more references have been released on the market – certainly working up to 50 hours a week, ”and“ we ended up there, ”he says.

He challenged insurers’ benchmarks and the law, which today sets the calculation of performance taking into account the last five years. This so-called “Olympic average” calculation is indeed at the heart of the problem for Vincent Piquemal, president of Occitanie’s independent winemakers, who has chosen to insure himself.

Insufficient reforms

Its 40-hectare vineyard was “in the middle of the cloud” of hail. “We lost everything,” said the Castelnau-d’Auzan farmer. “I’m insured, but I’m not sure, because of the way it’s calculated,” he says. The “Olympic average” resumes the results of the last five years, deducting the best and worst year and setting an average.

“I had the frost of 2021, with 85% losses, of the frost in 2020, with 83% of losses, a correct year in 2019, the frost with 60% of losses in 2018 and a good year in 2017, with 100 hectoliters per hectare. As a result, my performance will be mostly calculated on bad years, ”he explains.

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