Two vineyards in the northern Rhone appellation of Cornas are under threat to a local building project, it has emerged.

The vineyards, known as Les Mazards and Les Chaillots – La Cote make up 3.4ha (hectares) of the 100ha Cornas appellation.

Both fall under a local urbanisation project (PLU) for the village of Cornas, which would allow the land to be taken over for housing development.

The project has been under discussion since October 2005, when local authorities announced the plan. Despite protests from the Cornas winemakers’ union, the Rhone winemakers’ union and grumbles from the Ardeche chambre of agriculture and the national appellation organisation (INAO), the project will enter a public enquiry phase in September.

The Cornas winemakers’ union have started a petition in order to halt the plans which, they say, will ‘definitively amputate’ the vineyards and put the terroir ‘in peril’. According to sources on the ground, over 1,000 people have already put their name to the petition.

Click here to sign the petition (in French)

Click here to read the decanter.com blog

Written by Oliver Styles