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Introducing France’s First Cannabis-Infused Wine from The Heart of Bordeaux

March 31, 2021 11:31 am ET
Introducing France’s First Cannabis-Infused Wine from The Heart of Bordeaux

From the heart of Bordeaux, a wine-growing region, comes France’s first wine infused with cannabis. A young entrepreneur, Raphael De Pablo, launched the cannabis extracted infused wine in hopes of shaking up tradition and scoring with wine lovers. The wine has been infused with the cannabis compound known as cannabidiol, or CBD, due to the fact that tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is still banned in the beautiful wine-nation. 

Bordeaux is Home to Some of the World’s Most Prestigious Wines 

Mr. De Pablo is only 28-years-old and is the creator of the Brudi W brand based in one of France’s most well-known cities. The top-quality wine produced in Bordeaux has made the city well known, despite still being second to Paris. Bordeaux is also home to some of the most prestigious and expensive wines across the globe and has even been designated a world heritage site by UNESCO. The city has a port in the shape of a crescent moon, has architecture resembling centuries way before the twentieth century as well as having modern facilities to rival other first-world class cities. 

Mr. De Pablo locally sourced ‘Petit Verdot’, which is a variety of red wine grapes commonly used in classic Bordeaux blends. Petit Verdot is usually reserved for high-quality wines and was used by Mr. De Pablo to infuse with the CBD compound from cannabis. While the intoxicating compound from cannabis, THC, remains illegal, CBD is not only legal but is also credited. The accreditation affording to the psychoactive CBD is due to its ability to interact with the body and deliver benefits

Mr. De Pablo explained that by inducing CBD extract with the wine, “it adds a relaxing effect to the classic effect of alcohol”. He also stated that he came up with his idea for this brand in 2018 and is now fully legal and certified “from the seed to the finished product”. Unfortunately, there is a catch with this CBD-infused wine, it actually can’t claim to be a wine and is marketed as a “flavored wine-based drink” with a “little touch of blackcurrant” to balance out the strong CBD taste. 

Unsurprisingly, Mr. De Pablo explained that trying to hit the right mix of ingredients and flavors was “one of the more complex parts of making this drink”. He must have done well as he has already sold 8,000 bottles of wine at 34 euros each. His crowdfunding campaign was also a hit as it attracted more than 1 000 backers behind the product. While most of the buyers are in France, his product has also attracted business from other European countries as well as attracting the attention of the United States. Mr. De Pablo explains that cannabis-infused wine may be popular in those locations already but is also very expensive. 

Cannabis-Infused Wine Connects Young People With Age-Old Tradition

Mr. De Pablo and his team are aiming to “reconcile young people with wine” which is evident in the product design including engraved cords and a cannabis lead on the glow-in-the-dark label in order to attract his target, the young and sophisticated. The bottle is sleek, dark, and simplified but still elegant and attractive. According to The South African, France is amongst the world’s greatest wine-loving countries but there is evidence that young adults feel less drawn to regular wine drinking.

The South African explains that a survey which was conducted by the Credoc research body found that only a quarter of the participants, aged 18-24, drink wine on a once-a-week average, while 50% of those older reported drinking wine at least once a week. Mr. De Paulo’s efforts to attract the younger market seem to be paying off. For example, Zoe Habar Treves, a 21-year-old in Paris said that “I never drink wine but knowing that there is CBD in it makes me want to try it”.

While Mr. De Paulo is doing well to attract the younger market, it appears to be considered a problem by some, such as Jean-Michel Delile. Mr. Delile runs an addiction information center and stated that targeting younger people with such a drink is a problem considering that “CBD is without risk, but alcohol is not”. However, the French wine community was found making statements such as: “Wine is wine. I don’t understand why you would add mood-enhancing substances to wine, there is already alcohol in it”- said a fellow winemaker to The Agence France-Presse (AFP). However, it does appear that this opinion is not without bias as jealousy or wind traditions and values may have an impact on her close-minded opinion. While another fellow winemaker told the AFP that “it is a fun beverage, in a different category from wine, that we can easily imagine as an aperitif”. Personally speaking, this would be a beverage on the ‘must-try-before-I-die’ list if I ever find myself in France. 

Mr. De Pablo told the AFP that the details of the process concerning access to the extracted CBD from neighboring Germany are a trade secret. Despite mixed feelings concerning the infusion of CBD in wine, congratulations are in order for France’s first CBD-infused wine, which is licensed, certified and legally compliant. If you have ever tried a CBD-infused wine before, let us know what you think of the experience in the comment section below. 

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