Continuing the bubbly talk....this morning's Wall Street Journal has a great article on the Champagne industry in France. Focused on the strategy of LVMH, I highly recommend the article to anyone who enjoys Moët, Veuve, or Dom ... all owned by the same house.
If you are like me, you may have assumed that the grape farmers of the region must be rather well off, given the average price of their product and limited supply of source material. As the article points out, the truth is very diferent for many of Champagne's growers:
René Dessaint says he wouldn't have been able to survive on income from his vineyard alone. A retired teacher and current mayor of the small town of Pargny-lès-Reims, Mr. Dessaint uses the $17,500 a year he gets from selling grapes to champagne houses as a way to round out retirement benefits. At 62, Mr. Dessaint has increasingly needed outside help for field tasks such as fertilization.
Filled with facts, figures and graphs; this story contains a lot of interesting info on the past, present and future of tiny bubbles.