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Biodynamic winemaker Joly to cut ties with Loire body

Loire Valley winemaker Nicolas Joly has said he will withdraw his vineyard of the La Coulee de Serrant from the region's wine trade body after accusing the group of failing to respect organic and biodynamic wine producers.

Nicolas Joly, who accused Interloire of using his subscription to promote ‘orphaned wines’

Nicolas Joly
’s decision comes after a French court ordered him to pay 5,803 euros and three cents, plus 1,500 euros in legal fees, for not paying his subscription to Interloire.

He has appealed the judgement, but said he will withdraw La Coulee de Serrant, a small appellation of seven hectares within AC Savennieres and owned by the Joly family since 1961.

This is the latest episode in a long running battle between some French organic and biodynamic producers and their regional trade bodies – which they accuse of using subscriptions to promote ‘industrial’ wines.

La Coulee de Serrant, which was planted by monks in 1130, has been biodynamic since 1981.

After last week’s court case, Joly and his Parisian lawyer, Eric Morain, complained that ‘producers who have cultivated their vines organically or biodynamically for decades, making wines that reflect their terroirs, see their subscriptions used to vaunt the charms of orphaned wines without any roots, without history’.

Joly added that he would create his own organisation ‘to promote the Coulee de Serrant and the principles by which it is cultivated’.

Laurent Menestrau, president of the local Anjou wine federation, disputed Joly’s claims. ‘I think the reasons given by Nicolas Joly for leaving Interloire a little false,’ he told Decanter.com.

‘The [trade body] doesn’t just communicate about wine, it also funds research and the collection of statistics, as well as defending the Loire appellations.

‘I don’t understand why Mr Joly objects to paying the small subscription per bottle when his wine sells for 60-70 euros per bottle.’

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Written by Jim Budd

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