Top Beaujolais producer Georges Duboeuf has been found guilty of incorrectly labelling and blending over 200,000 litres of wine.
Villefranche-sur-Saone magistrate’s court found in favour of the public prosecutor although the fine requested by the latter was reduced to £21,000 (€30,000). The prosecution had asked for £130,000 (€187,000).
Duboeuf, although not in attendance to hear the verdict has always maintained that the fault did not lay with him or his company.
‘Georges Duboeuf wines contests the verdict and is considering appealing against it,’ said the company.
Sylvain Dory, Duboeuf’s former production manager at the Lancié plant where the illegal blending took place, was also found guilty of the same charges and given a three-month suspended sentence and fined £2,100 (€3,000). Dory’s sentence and fine were also considerably reduced by the court.
Dory’s lawyer also said they were considering appealing against the verdict.
Both Duboeuf and Dory were also ordered to pay 70p (€1) in damages to the INAO (Institut National des Appellations d’Origine), the body that ensures quality control and the origin of food products, including wine, in France.
None of the illegally blended wine reached the shelves.
Written by Oliver Styles