Buzz in Bordeaux: the first cannabis drink in France | Eat Drink

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 Buzz in Bordeaux: the first cannabis drink in France |  Eat Drink


While the intoxicating cannabis component THC remains strictly prohibited in France, the use of CBD is not only legal, but has been credited with certain medicinal properties, notably for relieving epilepsy or anxiety. – Photo ETX Studio

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BORDEAUX, March 20 – A young entrepreneur has launched the first wine from France infused with a cannabis extract in the heart of the Bordeaux vineyard, in the hope of shaking up traditions and making a mark with millennials.

Raphael De Pablo, the creator of the Burdi W brand, 28, infuses a locally sourced ‘petit verdot’ grape, usually reserved for high quality wines, with cannabidiol (CBD), one of the key substances found in cannabis.

While the intoxicating cannabis component THC remains strictly prohibited in France, the use of CBD is not only legal, but has been credited with certain medicinal properties, notably for relieving epilepsy or anxiety.
“It adds a relaxing effect to the classic high of alcohol,” De Pablo told AFP, who said he had the idea for his brand in 2018.

Although its product is legal and certified “from seed to finished product”, it cannot claim to be wine and must be marketed as a “flavored wine drink”.

A “little hint of black currant” balances out the strong taste of CBD, said De Pablo, adding that finding the right blend is “one of the most complex parts of making this drink.”

Burdi W drew more than 1,000 backers into a crowdfunding campaign, and De Pablo said he had already sold 8,000 bottles at 34 euros (RM166.40) each.

Most buyers are in France, but orders are coming from other European countries as well as the United States, where CBD-infused wine is already popular, but also very expensive, he said.

‘Vegetal notes’

France may be one of the biggest wine-loving countries in the world, but there is evidence that young adults feel less drawn to regular wine consumption than their parents or grandparents.

A survey last year by research organization Credoc found that only a quarter of people aged 18 to 24 drink wine once a week on average, compared with 50% of people in their 40s and 60% of people in their 40s. 75 years and over. .

“Our aim is to reconcile young people with wine,” said De Pablo, with the design of the bottles – with engraved caps and a marijuana leaf on luminescent labels – aimed at a young and sophisticated audience.

“I never drink wine but knowing that it contains CBD makes me want to try it,” Zoe Habar Treves, a 21-year-old university graduate in Paris, told AFP.

But Jean-Michel Delile, who heads CEID’s drug addiction information center, said targeting young people with the new drink was problematic.

“CBD is safe, but alcohol is not,” Delile told AFP.

French law complicates the manufacture of the drink because while the cultivation of hemp is legal, the extraction of any substance from the plant is not, and the production of CBD is therefore handled in neighboring Germany, details of the process being a trade secret, said De Pablo.

The reactions of the wine community range from rout to rejection.

“Wine is wine. I don’t understand why you would add mood-enhancing substances to wine, there is already alcohol in it, ”winegrower Diane Cauvin told AFP.

Jacques Broustet, owner of the Château Lamery estate, joked: “I am a winegrower, not a chemist”.

Terre de Vins’ wine-making website, however, found the drink promising after their taste test revealed “vegetal notes reminiscent of the aromas of a craft beer.”

“It’s a fun drink, in a different category from wine, that you can easily imagine as an aperitif,” he says. – ETX studio

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