Las Cases vines poisoned by neighbour

30th October, 2013 by Rupert Millar

Six hectares of Léoville Las Cases’ vineyards have been accidentally poisoned by its neighbour Léoville Poyferré.

Leoville-Las-Cases

Léoville Las Cases, photo credit: Justerini & Brooks

The incident happened in September some two weeks before the harvest when workers from Léoville Poyferré burnt some plant waste and cardboard in a spot reserved for doing so.

However, unbeknown to them, someone had hidden canisters of polyurethane filler in the pile which gave off toxic smoke as the flames took hold and poisoned some vines from the neighbouring St Julien estate.

Didier Cuvelier, owner of Léoville Poyferré, has taken full responsibility for the accident but stressed his and his workers’ innocence in the matter.

“Certain people around here have got used to throwing just about anything away wherever they like,” he told French newspaper Sud-Ouest.

“In the ashes, experts found traces of BA13 plasterboard and burnt aerosols, probably from plasterers, that had been thrown away on our property.”

Jean-Hubert Delon, owner of Léoville Las Cases, told the paper: “The leaves were blackened, they fell off very quickly. The grapes didn’t ripen (further).”

He also criticised the decision to burn waste so close to harvesting.

“The fire should never have been lit in the middle of the vines,” he continued, “and certainly not just before the harvest.”

Yann Montmartin, head of environmental affairs at the Chamber of Agriculture in the Gironde, agreed with Cuvelier that there was a problem with illicit dumping of rubbish.

rp0080_copie

BA13 plasterboard, which Cuvelier said had been hidden in the rubbish pile

However, he added that it was forbidden to burn waste from production and that collection points for vineyard and winery waste did exist.

The only exception to the burning rule, he said, was the burning of cuttings during winter.

Delon added that the grapes from the affected area had been harvested and vinified separately.

“Who knows what the wine will be like?” he asked, “A grape is a sponge, it can absorb odours.”

In all likelihood, said Delon, the wine would be sent to a distillery and certainly not used in any of the wines from Las Cases this year.

A price has not been set on the damage done and both owners have said their lawyers and insurers are currently in discussions.

One Response to “Las Cases vines poisoned by neighbour”

  1. VAN DEN BERGE says:

    On est loin du bio dans ce secteur de la production viticole!….effarent de lire ce genre de comportements de la part même des professionnels du secteur de la vigne et du vin : propriétaires et employés! Non mais, quelles sont ces pratiques? Cela mérite une véritable enquête quant à l’atteinte à l’environnement. INIMAGINABLE à notre époque et pourtant VRAI!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

FINE WINE SALES ADMINISTRATOR

Davy's Wine Merchants
London, UK

Business Development Manager - On Trade

FINE+RARE
Central London, GB

Regional Sales Manager

Swallow Associates Ltd
Home Based: North-West England, UK

London Account Manager Role (Full Time)

LITTLE BIRD GIN
Home based with UK travel. , GB

Sales Operations Manager

Bibendum PLB
London, UK

Digital Marketing Executive (online content & community manager)

Corney & Barrow Limited
London E1W (near Tower Bridge), UK

Store Manager – Premium Drinks

Amathus Drinks PLC
London, UK

On-Trade Regional Sales Manager

Anthony Byrne Fine Wines
London and the South East, UK

Wine Sales – Northwest England

Gerrard Seel
North West England

Senior On-Trade Sales Manager – English Sparkling Wine Company

COREcruitment
London based with national travel, UK

National Account Manager – RTM – On Trade

COREcruitment
Home based with frequent UK travel

Sales Account Manager - Wine

COREcruitment
London, Devon, Manchester, Liverpool, Farnham, Cambridge, UK

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 14th June 2017

The Global Syrah Masters 2017

Deadline : 14th June 2017

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

Deadline : 14th June 2017

The Global Beer Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st August 2017

Click to view more

Global Chardonnay Masters 2016

Now in its fourth year, the competition will identify the best Chardonnay from all around the world in every price range.

The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2017

the drinks business Hong Kong announces its first year of The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Fortified Masters 2016

Now in its third year, The Fortified Masters will reward the best fortified wines on offer.

Click to view more