FRANCE: Wood chips get AOC ban
The use of wood chips in French AOC winemaking has been banned despite recent support for their use by the French government.
The Institut National des Appellations d'Origine (INAO) - the regulator of France's AOC wines - announced the ruling late last week. The decision came despite the use of wood chips being made legal by the EU in September.
"This decision basically means we do not have the same rights as our competitors," said Roland Feredj, director of Bordeaux's regional wine body, the Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vins de Bordeaux (CIVB).
The INAO ruling stated that wood chips do not fit with the spirit of "appellations" and could strain the link with "terroir". Experimentation with chips will be allowed under special dispensation.
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