Court suspends French top wine classification
BORDEAUX, France |
BORDEAUX, France (Reuters) - A French court suspended the award of the prestigious "Grand Cru" label to vintage Saint-Emilion wine for the year 2006 on Friday, after a legal challenge by producers who complained the system was unfair.
Granting the injunction, the court said it was likely that serious doubts would arise over the disputed wine classification introduced last December, which has been challenged by four vineyards excluded from the listing.
The plaintiffs argued the classification process was unfair because only some vineyards were visited by judges. They said allowing the list to stand before a full hearing would seriously damage their economic interests.
The new classification comprises 15 "Premier Grand Cru" denominations and 46 "Grand Cru" denominations, out of a total of 91 applicants.
A court will rule later on whether the classification process was unfair. The complaint was filed by Chateau Guadet Saint-Julien, Chateau de la Marzelle, Chateau Cadet Bon and Chateau La Tour du Pin Figeac.
The ruling comes as Bordeaux's wine industry prepares to face the wine critics next week at the region's annual tasting. The industry launched a vast restructuring in 2003 to counter overplanting and overproduction.
Vineyards have since merged or been ploughed up under a programme due to end this year and the CIVB Bordeaux Wine industry group expects less than half of a target to destroy 10,000 hectares of vines will be met.
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this