Rod-Phillips-Profile-Photo-small-sizeProfessor Rod Phillips has published “The transfer of vineyard ownership during the French Revolution: A pivotal event in the history of French wine,” in the Journal of Wine Economics.

All Church property not needed for strictly spiritual purposes was expropriated by the French state in 1790 and auctioned off during the following years.  In this article, Rod analyzed the sale of Church-owned vineyards in Burgundy from 1790 to 1793. He examined the prices paid for vineyards and associated buildings and equipment, compared prices to assessed values, and profiled the new owners.

Because the Church owned about 10 per cent of France’s land area, the sale of these properties led to a massive shift in land ownership. It is arguably one of the most important and enduring policies of the Revolution. In the case of vineyards, it ended the centuries-long participation of the Church and its entities (especially monasteries) in wine production.  From about 1793, all wine production was in secular hands.

The article is a version of a paper Rod gave at the annual meeting of the American Association of Wine Economists in Cape Town, South Africa, in June 2023.  It is part of the research for a book Rod is writing on wine in the French Revolution.

The open-access article is here: