Fifty three French winemakers accused of illegally enhancing their Beaujolais wines with sugar are facing EUR500 to EUR7,000 in fines.
 
During the trial this week, most of the winemakers admitted using extra sugar to boost their wine's alcohol level above the legally authorised two degrees. The fines will depend on how much extra sugar was used.
 
"The fines for the producers are correct, but I hope the tribunal will consider the very bad weather during the 2004 vintage and give suspended fines," Michel Desilets, lawyer for 41 of the producers, told just-drinks today (30 January). Suspended fines are paid only if the law is broken again
 
The trial has been adjourned until 17 March, 2009.