France: Bread and Wine

France gets a lot of bread from wine —specifically $1.5 billion a year in domestic sales alone. Wine is also one of the country's most bracing exports, at $500 million. This year, after a worrisomely chilly spring, the weather turned ideal, with just the right blend of sun and showers. As the grape harvest neared its end last week, prospects for the wine business glowed. The bumper crop is expected to yield 57 million barrels of wine, up better than 34% from last year.

Swimming in Grapes. In the Champagne district, the vines...

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