The long-running conflict between Chaume and Quarts de Chaume in the Loire’s Layon Valley has been resolved.
The regional committee of the INAO has agreed that Quarts de Chaume should become a grand cru, while Chaume will become a premier cru.
The conflict started in 2003 when Chaume, one of the leading villages in the Coteaux du Layon, was promoted to AC Chaume Premier Cru.
The producers of the Quarts de Chaume, one of the three crus of Anjou, objected that this undermined their superior status.
Jean Baumard of Domaine des Baumard led the opposition. The case went to the French courts, which annulled the new appellation in 2005.
In 2007 Chaume tried again with Coteaux du Layon Chaume. Once again there was opposition and the appellation was annulled by the French courts in May 2009.
Following this court decision, Claude Papin of Château Pierre-Bise, the president of the Quarts de Chaume producers, managed to thrash out this new agreement.
decanter.com understands the new proposal is likely to be approved by the National INAO committee. Furthermore, Savennières is understood to be working on a similar demand for grand cru status.
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Written by Jim Budd