FRANCE: Bordeaux growers slam AOC proposals
Proposed government changes to France's wine classification system have met stiff opposition from Bordeaux producers.
At present, three categories of French wine exist, Appellations d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC), Vins de Pays and Vins de Table.
The Bordeaux AOC category covers a huge range of wines, from a basic Bordeaux AOC costing as little as EUR1.50 (US$1.95) a bottle, up to better quality wines from well-known appellations like St Emilion or Margaux, which cost EUR20 or more.
Plans outlined by the French government would move lesser AOC wines, together with Vins de Pays, into a new category. The name of the category has not been revealed, but the term Indication d'Origine Contrôlée (IOC) has been suggested.
"It is out of the question. We will vote against [the proposals]," said Bernard Farges, president of the Syndicat des AOC Bordeaux et Bordeaux Supérieur. "We want to remain a rigorous and dependable AOC."
Fears about the new category include doubts about the right to use the words "Bordeaux" or "château" on the label.
A meeting of producers and government officials will be held next week to discuss the proposals.
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