The wine lake refers to a perceived supply surplus of wine produced in the European Union around 2005–2007. A major contributor to that glut was reported to be the Languedoc-Roussillon, which was producing 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 sold. Hundreds of millions of bottles of wine had been turned into industrial alcohol every year, a practice that had sometimes been described as "emergency distillation".
One proposed remedy was Plan Bordeaux: an initiative introduced in 2005 by the French vintners association ONIVINS, designed to reduce France's production and raise prices. Part of the plan was to uproot 17,000 hectares (42,000 acres) of the 124,000 ha (310,000 acres) of vineyards in Bordeaux. The proposed plan was met with some resistance.