The Loire appellation Chaume has been cancelled after just two years, following opposition from the AOC Quarts de Chaume.
As of 2009, the designation – which applies to a handful of Anjou sweet white wine producers – can no longer be used.
This is not the first time AOC Quarts de Chaume winemakers have lobbied successfully to reduce the status of their Rochefort-sur-Loire neighbours’ wine.
In 2003, the latter group received permission from the INAO (France’s national institute of appellations of origin) to call their wine AOC Chaume-Premier crus des Coteaux du Layon.
But the AOC Quarts de Chaume complained the term ‘premier cru’ would be confusing to consumers and would dilute the value of their own AOC.
AOC Chaume won the argument, but no sooner were they allowed to call their own 100% botrytised Chenin wine AOC Chaume when AOC Quarts de Chaume producers argued again that the region should only have one AOC.
A spokesperson for AOC Chaume producers – whose wine is from low-yielding vines on about 60ha – said they were disappointed for themselves and for consumers, as their wine clearly had twice met the quality standards set out by the INAO.
Written by Maggie Rosen