France Will Turn Tons Of Unsold Wine Into Hand Sanitiser, After Poor Sales Due To Lockdown

Millions Of Litres Of Unsold Wine In France To Be Made Into Hand Sanitiser & Ethanol

When it comes to wine, you may think of parties, weddings and relaxation. We can safely say, hand sanitiser is not on the list.

However, due to the severity of Covid-19 outbreak around the world, wine in France has since become a non-essential.

As such, producers have had to re-examine the millions of litres of unsold wine and channel it elsewhere — hand sanitiser.

2-month lockdown in France has taken a toll on winemakers

Like many other countries, France has been in lockdown since 17 Mar in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many industries were heavily impacted by the fall in business, and this was especially apparent for winemakers.


French winemakers experienced a drastic drop in sales and saw millions of litres of surplus wine.

300 million litres of wine to be collected & distilled

According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), Didier Josso, who is wine branch head of a French farming, said that this excess wine will be distilled and made into hand sanitiser.


33 licensed distillers will begin collecting wine from their makers starting today (5 Jun).


An expert estimate said that there is around 300 million litres of wine that requires distilling.


The distilled alcohol will be exclusively used for pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry purposes. This includes making hand sanitiser and ethanol, though not much of the latter is needed than the former.

Starting from now till 19 Jun, winemakers can indicate how much of their wine they want distilled to the authorities.


By doing so, they can receive S$123 (78 euros) if the wine is certified belonging to a reigion. For wine that aren’t, they will get S$92 (58 euros) in return.

Innovative solution to address a global issue

Many commodities became necessities and faced shortages in light of the global pandemic, hand sanitiser included.

It is great that the French authorities are finding ways to simultaneously tackle the economic fallout and shortage in such a manner.

We hope that more like this will be done all over the world, so that we can mitigate effects of Covid-19 together.

Featured images adapted from Unsplash.

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