French appellation overhaul targets consumers

26th July, 2010 by db_staff

Producers in Burgundy and the Rhône are hoping to reach out to more consumers with the revision of four appellations.

burgundy.jpgEarlier this month, the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine (INAO) put forward the changes in the hope of showcasing its lower-cost wines for the everyday consumer.

One of the two amended Burgundy appellations involves the re-naming of AOC Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire, an appellation that hopes to become Côteaux Bourguignons, a term which will feature at the bottom of the classification system in Burgundy, beneath the Bourgogne appellation, which is already reserved for lower-priced brands.

Meanwhile, bottles labelled in the future as Bourgogne Côte d’Or will be lower-cost wines from the Côtes de Nuits and Côtes de Beaune, and will replace wines that are currently labelled as Bourgogne.

In the Rhône, the Côteaux de Tricastin appellation (30 miles north of Châteauneuf-du-Pape) will re-brand itself as Grignon Lès Adhémar, the name of a local village.

The INAO hopes that this amendment will lead consumers away from the tainted view of the Tricastin village name which has become tarnished due to the village’s proximity to the Tricastin nuclear power plant which leaked uranium in 2008, an event which sparked a nosedive in demand of wine from the region.

With a desire to simplify its wines for consumers, Rasteau Côtes du Rhône Villages will soon shorten its name to Rasteau, an amendment that is due to start with wines from the 2009 vintage.

Up until now, Rasteau AOC was only permissible for the region’s fortified wines, but the revision in AOC names will extend the designation to include Rasteau light red wines too.

Assuming there are no objections, the AOC revisions should approved by the French Ministry of Agriculture later this year.

Jane Parkinson, 26.07.2010


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