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Graves winery has vines vandalised

Only a few weeks after fruit was stolen at night from a Sauternes vineyard, another Bordeaux producer, Liber Pater, has fallen victim to foul play.

Liber Pater uses the grapes to make its Vin de France

In another night-time raid last week, the vines in a 2.5 hectare plot near Landiras in Graves used by Liber Pater were hacked off at the base by vandals.

Although the wine made from the plot is Vin de France, it has fetched up to £3,000 per bottle from Russian and Asian buyers. The vandalised vines were from the very rare Castets variety, which is not authorised under the Graves appellation regulations.

Unusually, the vines were on their own rootstock, not being grafted onto American rootstock, as other varieties have habitually been since phylloxera struck Bordeaux in the late 19th century.

“These vines were an historical treasure of Bordeaux,” Loic Pasquet, the distressed owner, said. “Five years ago, I planted several varietals that existed in Bordeaux 200 years ago, including Castets, Mancin and Pardotte.

“The vines are certified organic, and I work with only horses and mules in the vineyard in an attempt to recapture the tastes of 19th century Bordeaux at the time of the 1855 classification. I don’t know if this is why I have been targeted, but it is a devastating loss.”

Police have been called in but have so far made no arrests.

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