France Tries to Bans Californian Wine in Response to Foie Gras Ban

The French retaliate after California's ban on its largest export

Everybody's been talking about the Californian foie gras ban, but one voice has been largely left out of the conversation: France, the largest exporter of goose foie gras. Now, one region in France is fighting back against California by banning wines from the state.

Reports Businessweek, politicians from the Gers region (in Gascony) are angry with Californians for affecting their foie gras producers. Gers is known for being a major producer of foie gras, and California is on its list of offenders. Said politician Phillippe Martin, "I call on all the restaurants in France that sell Californian wine to stop doing so in a show of solidarity for our foie gras makers and, more broadly, for all food makers."

What's kind of ironic about the whole thing? France barely drinks any Californian wines. While California is the largest U.S. exporter of wine — $1.4 billion in 2011 — very few of those wines go to France. Terry Hall, a spokesman for Napa Valley Vintners (which represents 430 wineries), told Businessweek, "There’s not going to be a lot of California wine to boycot... France is a major producer. They’re not keen on a lot of imports, especially from California." Well, much like the disastrous Freedom Fries reputation, it's the thought that counts, right? (And check out how foie gras is made, below.) 

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