Burgundy wine-makers are protesting after a surge in applications for non-appellation vine plantations in the region as they fear it will harm Bourgogne wine’s image and even stop customers buying.
The applications are for non-geographic vins sans indication géographique (VSIG) that would be used for vins de France (the old vin de table). The CAVB growers’ federation says they should not be allowed to use Bourgogne’s traditional grape varieties and not be in areas close to noted AOC regions.
CAVB director Thomas Nicolet said: “Today the region is 99.9% AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée) and there are plans for plantations within 5, 10, 20km of these AOCs. We fear that by using our traditional cépages and mainly chardonnay they will feed off our fame and, by being cheaper and lesser quality, damage our reputation.
“We are not against more vineyards as there is growing world demand for wine but they should not be able to be linked to AOC Bourgogne.
“Our customs and fraud agencies can cut confusion for consumers but big companies’ marketing can get round this and it could lead to fraud. The label may be correct but the advertising may say ‘made in Bourgogne with traditional cépages’ giving the idea it is AOC Bourgogne.”
He said Sancerre had a 45km no-go zone between AOC and non-AOC vines and added that the CAVB wanted a halt to new approvals while all sides debated how to proceed.
In Côtes de Beaune AOC people already make dark jokes of non-AOC wines called ‘A côté de Beaune’ [beside Beaune].