Mais Non! French Vintners’ Angry Over American Wine Labeling in EU
Drinking a Bordeaux wine from a “chateau” is as French as swigging Kentucky bourbon is American.
But now tempers are flaring across the vineyards of France. The United States wants to sell some of its wines in the European Union with - sacrilege - a “chateau” or “clos” label.
Cheating. Misappropriation. Distortion - the issue has the Bordelais turning claret with anger.
“What is at stake is the respect for tradition and quality,” Laurent Gapenne of Chateau de Laville and president of the Federation des Grand Vins de Bordeaux told the Associated Press.
For American vintners it is a question of selling more wine in their top export market, unshackled by historic language or restrictive terms in the world of 21st century globalization.
“People use words in different ways,” WineAmerica chief operation officer Cary Greene told the AP, arguing there should be no ban on U.S. bottles carrying the word “chateau.”
The French, on the other hand, argue that hundreds of years of craft are at stake. They’re worried that the cachet a mention of “chateau” or “clos” - which shows the origin of the wine - carries is diluted if other winemakers started to stick it on their bottles in Europe.
On Tuesday, EU experts from the different member states will investigate whether that should be permitted, with a decision imminent.