The wine lake refers to the continuing supply surplus of wine (supply glut) produced in the European Union. A major contributor to that glut is the Languedoc-Roussillon, which produces over one-third of the grapes grown in France. In 2007 it was reported that for the previous several vintages, European countries had been producing 1.7 billion more bottles of wine than they sell. Hundreds of millions of bottles of wine are turned into industrial alcohol every year, a practice that is sometimes described as "emergency distillation".
Another attempted remedy is Plan Bordeaux: an initiative introduced in 2005 by ONIVINS, the French vintners association, designed to reduce France's wine glut and improve sales. Part of the plan is to uproot 17,000 hectares of the 124,000 hectares of vineyards in Bordeaux.
- Sanderson, Katharine (2007). "Europe burns its wine lake". Nature News. doi:10.1038/news070625-12.
- Jeremy Smith (2007-07-04). "Winemakers pour cold water on EU "wine lake" plan". Reuters.