Sweeping changes in Beaujolais could see the creation of a Vin de Pays as well as Premier Cru wines to prevent the ‘disappearance of the region’.

After two years of research and debate 850 Beaujolais winemakers met last month at the ‘Assises du Beaujolais’ to hear the results of the programme and to draw up a plan of action.

The plan centered on three main objectives: a review of the position and profile of Beaujolais; the creation of a long-term plan to be adaptable to changing environmental constraints; and the promotion of the Beaujolais terroir.

The meeting produced several measures including the restructuring of vineyards and re-examination of the Beaujolais classification, a review of new grape varieties, changes in production and distribution as well as a focus on increasing wine quality. Other measures include the possible creation of a Vin de Pays and premier cru status wines.

‘More than a reform, this is a revolution,’ said one journalist referring to the proposed measures.

It seems, however, that the new projects, of which 80% are to be implemented immediately, are urgently needed.

‘The menace is easy to identify: the partial or total disappearance of our vineyards,’ said Inter-Beaujolais president Michel Bosse-Platière, referring to the crisis currently affecting French wine.

Written by Oliver Styles