Bordeaux wants to keep its AOC

by Hervé Lalau

Bernard Farges, the president of the Syndicat des Bordeaux et Bordeaux Supérieur, says that his union will vote against the new, more flexible rules that the French government is proposing for regional appellations

The government's project, which is now being reviewed at the regional level, would divide the current AOC's into two groups: the real AOC's, which are smaller and more directly linked to soils and microclimate, would have stricter rules; the others, which are more regional and generally less prestigious, would be renamed. There is talk of AO, or perhaps IOC for Indication d'Origine Contrôlée. Both would lower the levels of production constraints and controls.

Farges says Bordeaux "wants to remain a reliable and vigorous AOC" and that to drop the flag would be like "denying 40 years of qualitative efforts". Fair enough, but if a large AOC like Bordeaux, with its 6,000 producers, does not do so, who will accept to give up their AOC status? In addition, what will become of all the efforts of those who, as they were unable to eliminate the poor quality in existing AOCs, thought that the best solution would be to eliminate those AOC's altogether? Reforming France appears to be, if not impossible, a Sisyphusian labour.



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