Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sour Grapes Floor Mondavi Bid

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sour Grapes Floor Mondavi Bid

Article excerpt

Byline: ALLAN HALL

A COMMUNIST mayor has blocked California wine giant Robert Mondavi's bid to open a vineyard and bottling plant in France.

Manuel Diaz of Aniane, Languedoc-Roussillon, refused permission at the last moment, saying: "I know danger when I smell it - they don't want to come here to create wealth for local people but to create wealth for shareholders back home."

His actions are part of a wider revolt in France against globalisation.

Diaz's decision has cost the Napa Valley, California, producer about [pound]1 million in legal and survey fees.

The plan was to produce [pound]45a-bottle wine - a massive amount given that Languedoc wine usually retails at around [pound]2.50. Local wine producers felt the arrival of Mondavi would boost the status of their own wines and they agreed to help in any way they could to produce the superwine for the luxury market in the US.

But the Agriculturalists Union of Jose Bove - the McDonald's restaurant wrecker who destroyed a fast-food joint elsewhere in the region last year and became a hero to the forces of anti-globalisation - stepped in. …

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