Top 10 wine scandals17th August, 2011 by Rupert Millar
Beaujolais has managed to alter its image quite successfully of late but it has known the odd scandal or two in its time.
One of the region’s and indeed France’s wine icons, Georges Duboeuf, was embroiled in a scandal in 2005 when he was accused of blending lower-grade wine in with finer crus to stretch the patchy 2004 harvest a little further.
Duboeuf denied responsibility and blamed human error. He pointed out that fewer than 200,000 litres of his company’s 270 million litre production was affected and none of it had been sold to consumers.
However, a court found that “fraud and attempted fraud concerning the origin and quality of wines” had indeed been committed. Duboeuf was fined.
The manager directly responsible for that part of production subsequently admitted his guilt and resigned.
Beaujolais was caught up in scandal again in 2007, when roughly 50 growers were also fined for chaptalisation and exceeding volume quotas between 2004 and 2006.
They were caught out when officials wondered why winegrowers needed 100 tonnes of sugar for use in their winemaking.