FRANCE: AOC wood chips ban in doubt amid INAO revamp
The French regulatory body for AOC wines, the INAO (Institut National des Appellations d'Origine), is being reorganised to focus on quality control.
The reorganisation, coupled with the fact that France is awaiting an election and possible change of government, has led to speculation that the INAO's recent ban on wood chips in AOC winemaking may not be signed by the Minister for Agriculture, Dominique Bussereau.
"The INAO has taken a position [against wood chips] but the decree has not been signed by the Minister," said Roland Feredj, director of Bordeaux's regional wine body, the Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vins de Bordeaux (CIVB).
"Now the INAO is being reorganised, we don't know when the decree will be signed, it could be tomorrow, or not," Feredj added.
The INAO's remit will include management of Label Rouge - a French poultry and meat producer - and STG, a European quality mark.
It will take charge of reforming quality control systems for wine and agricultural products - including organic labels - carrying quality marks like AOC or Label Rouge.
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