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I actually don't understand what the problem is. I agree that the system isn't perfect (don't know any system that is) but exactly what should be changed in the appellation laws?


They need to revert back to their original purpose, to protect region.

The new folk need to grasp that the same grape grown on different soils, with different farming, might taste very differently, but that is not a reason to deny appellation. Working well is the key, not if the sauvignon blanc tastes grassy or like cat pee or gooseberry.

Also,wines without sulfur might present very differently, and it is wrong to banish them from the AOC because their tastes are outside of the textbook description. That is, if the wines are solid, stable, and the work in the cellar and vineyard is honest.


I might be stupid but that didn't make any sense to me. Can you give examples of wines that have not been accepted on those grounds?


Either because of taste or because a grape like menu pineau is no longer allowed in certain areas: wines by Olivier Cousin, T. Puzelat, Claire Naudin (her unsulfured wines) Domaine Deux Anes, Claude Courtois. For example, Thierry Puzelat told me that he is now resigned to making table wine instead of appellation wine because he will continue to work with now forbidden varieties as the INAO proceeds to limit grape varieties. It is like ripping out heirloom apple trees. No different. France isn't the only one, Italy is the same way, just the French system is the oldest and most venerable.


You give examples of producers who choose to work outside the legislation. I asked for specific wines that has been denied appellation status.


Many are working outside of the appellation because they were denied and so they went their own way. To reiterate what I already stated, Amoreau was denied, he took the Appellation to court. Claire Naudin was denied for her aligoté and Haute Cotes de Beaune. In 2007, Jean-Paul Brun's l'Ancienne Denied the AOC Beaujolais. Also, please look at the section above where I cite Noella Morantin.
Domaine des Sablonnettes had a rosé that was rejected once for being "too dark" so they called it "Ceci n'est pas un rosé" Table Wine. Now they no longer request the AOC. They are supposed to be AOC Anjou like
Olivier. Binner in Alsace. also gets certain wines rejected.


WInes has been denied appellation status for different reasons all through the history. The AOC-system has changed and adapted since the beginning. I think it's much to soon to write the obituary based on the loud opposition from a small group (in the country with largest wine production in the world) that wants to do things differently.

Rebels are needed, loved, adored and move boundaries. But they serve their purpose best outside the system.

BTW. I don't find the new EU regulation to be ridiculous. When it comes to effect I think it will bring some order into it all.


Unlike you, I am not in favor of old vines with long history being ripped out because they are not considered commercially viable, or because the EU wants to simplify. Also, I am not in favor of laws that allow both chaptalization and acidification. But mostly, I find that the new laws are in the interests of the bigger commercial firms and are geared towards an unpleasant standardization.


Well. Anyone who reads this can see that I have not spoken in favor of ripping up old vines. That's bad deta technique Alice.
There are no laws that allows both acidification and chaptalization. In 2003 there was an exception from the law i Loire that allowed acidification but that didn't overrule the law that permitted addition of sugar. Get your facts straight.


Sir, I am accusing you of nothing. I am merely saying that I don't like where the changes are going, increasingly towards simplification on all levels. You said you're in favor of the changes, I did not. And, by the way both acid and sugar are allowed in Burgundy (and probably elsewhere) and have been since, I believe 2001. I've been through this one extensively.



This is the problem when regulations go beyond simple rules and become interpretations of regulators. Like you said, the rules should be simple you can grow this here and you can do that in the cellar (it would be nice if the rules required disclosure of cellar practices). No tasting panels. If consumers buy it, great. If not, make better wine.



Tragically, this type of thing has been going on for awhile. I first recall it in the case of Jean Thevenet as detailed in Wine Spectator:


While his reasons for exclusion don't fit into what you describe, the exclusion existed nonetheless, and should have been more widely protested at the time. IMO, typicite' is a slippery slope and can, in the hands of bureaucrats, can led to the exclusion of wines outside the box, wherever that box is defined at the time. That loss of individual expression is sad.

Adam Lee
Siduri Wines

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