Toasting wind turbines in France

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The world's first wine dedicated to wind power has been doing brisk business. The Vignerons de Névian co-operative in the Pays d'Oc region of southwest France named its recent vintage Domaine des Eoliennes (Domain of Wind Turbines) in honour of the Grande Garrigue plant installed in the locality last year. Operated by La Compagnie du Vent, Grande Garrigue -- with 18 Gamesa 850 kW turbines -- is the second largest wind farm in France. Three more turbines are to be added, bringing capacity to 17.85 MW.

In contrast to the Minervois wine region to the north, where wind turbines are controversial additions to the landscape, in Névian wind power has provided an eye-catching marketing ploy for the small village co-operative. Around 4000 bottles of Domaine des Eoliennes have so far been sold at a price of EUR 2.60, with little publicity. Such has been the success of the wine that the producers have registered the name and plan to make a vintage each year. But if you want a bottle you have to go to Névian and collect it. The co-operative does not deliver.

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