Learn English With The News – Growers and producers against each other in France’s “champagne wars”

Covid-19 has created many problems, but who ever thought it would cause havoc on the champagne industry? Today’s English News Segment is all about the consequences and repercussions this global crisis has had on the bubbly drink we love to celebrate with. Watch the video and then do the accompanying English language exercises.

The news is a consistent source of entertainment, knowledge and discovery that never ceases to exist and always comes out with more and more material each day. Because it plays such a vital part in our lives and is so important to keep up with, it is without a doubt a piece of your everyday routine that can’t go ignored. 

Whether it is to understand the ramifications of recent legislation passed, to hear about recent events and grasp the potential consequences to your country, or simply hear about what is happening in other countries in order to compare them to what’s happening in yours, the news is certainly a staple in our lives and the most consistent way to get information.

This is why Scrambled Eggs has decided to unite two of your biggest worlds: learning English and keeping up with what is happening in the world. We hope our challenging daily exercises, composed of listening, vocabulary and comprehension exercises in English, will satisfy both of those above worlds in a satisfactory and also entertaining way.

So enough about introductions, let’s get to today’s Learn English with the News topic:

Adapted from this article.

Now that you’ve had a listen, let’s put your knowledge to the test with some of our vocabulary and comprehension exercises:

Growers and producers against each other in France's "champagne wars" | Definition Match

Put the following words to the correct definitions.

Growers and producers against each other in France's "champagne wars" | Fill In The Blank

Fill the empty spaces with the proper words.

Growers and producers against each other in France's "champagne wars" | True or False

Indicate which sentences are true and which ones are false.


And that’s it for today’s English lesson, where you can improve your English with the news and current events. Do you have any comments or special requests for us for the next edition of Learn English with the News? Be sure to leave any feedback you have in the comments section below, as we would love to help you on your quest to learn the English language!

For other Learn English with the News segments, be sure to check out the rest of our posts:


Full Text:

“In the champagne vineyards of France, the season of ripening, plumping and sweetening of the
grapes ready for harvesting at the end of August, known as the veraison, has begun.
Maxime Toubart, a relatively small vigneron who produces 25,000 bottles of bubbly from the
12-acre maison founded by his great-grandparents in 1900, has been cultivating his clients as
well as his vines during the coronavirus crisis and is confident his business will survive.
The same cannot be said for many other small vineyards, who say they will face ruin if they are
forced to let their grapes wither on the vine.
Last year, just under 300m bottles of French champagne were sold worldwide, half of them
exported to the UK, the US and Japan. This year, French producers expect to sell 100m fewer
bottles, amounting to a loss of €1.7bn (£1.5bn).
The sales slump has led to a bitter dispute between the vineyard owners and the champagne
houses who buy their grapes and turn them into bubbly.
Every July, the two sides meet to agree how many grapes should be harvested. Last year, the
maximum allowed was 10,200kg per hectare (2.47 acres).
This year, the champagne maisons, who are holding a surplus stock of about 400m bottles – out
of a total stock of more than 1bn – in their cellars, want the vineyards to harvest fewer grapes
to avoid saturating the market and causing the price of champagne to plummet.
They have demanded growers pick no more than 6,000-7,000kg per hectare. The growers say
they will not go below 8,500kg per hectare.
As a result, this July’s meeting ended without agreement with just a month to go to the start of
the harvest, the busiest time of the year for vineyards.
Despite the dispute, the vineyards and champagne houses have joined forces to demand the
agriculture ministry write off some of their “social charges” taxes, particularly for the 100,000
seasonal workers employed to harvest the grapes later this month.
If no agreement can be reached, the decision to fix a maximum yield will be made by French
government officials, which could leave both sides dissatisfied.”