In Field Study B we stayed in Bordeaux/Dijon/Paris. It was based on a theme “The durability of the French wine industry” and we visited wine producer and wine Committee, INAO (Institute National of the origin). All students conducted a study project along the theme during the Case Study B course prior to the field study. We examined about "Japanese market trend of the Bourgogne wine" in our group. What we felt then was that we only had limited resources in Japan to study the topic, such as Internet and documents. Coming to France we could meet people engaged in the wine industry and could get real information directly from them. Such information was not available in Japan.
We learned about suitable soils for wine making and choices of grapes from our visits to chateaus. In the storehouse where brewing barrels formed a line, we learned for the first time that more delicious wine was produced by taking great troubles and care during its brewing process. In addition, we learned that when they sell wine, an intermediary called courtier and wine business firm called negociant are often involved. Tracing back further, the barrel craftsmen, the bottle and the cork producers are engaged in wine production. In Japan I never thought that so many people and resources were contributing to make a bottle of wine.
I did not have many opportunities to drink wine in Japan, but I had many wine tasting occasions in France, and there were various ways of expressions for color / fragrance / taste. I was charmed by the personality of each wine being different. I learned from this field study that it is important not only to study about the process of wine production but also to actually look, hear and feel the wine and its production process.
Before coming to France, we studied in Japan that while the sales of new world wine like Australian, Chilean, Argentine ones were increasing, the sales of traditional wine such as French one was stagnating in late years. But rather than considering it as a a crisis, French producers attempt to develop a new sales network while respecting the tradition. Also they are devising measures against the problem of global warming, and there was a company reviewing their transportation means, utilising their own drainage installation, and planning to construct a water filtration facility using plants.
In France I learned many things and not just about the wine industry. This was my first visit to France. Everything was fresh and interesting. I intend to make use of what I learned in France and this valuable experience for my personal development.