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France produces Breton wine

Better known for its cider and sailors, the region of Brittany can now lay claim to having its own wine following a legal tussle with the French authorities.

The DGCCRF (the French consumer fraud office) had planned proceedings against winemaker brothers Christophe and Philippe Chéneau for their Breizh Gwin Gwen, or ‘Breton white wine’ in Breton.

Citing ‘attempted deception’ and ‘non-compliant labelling’, the DGCCRF objected to the use of ‘Vin Breton’ on the, larger, back label of the bottle, as the wine is grown and vinified in the administrative region of the Loire. The smaller, legally more important, front label states that the wine is a Vin de Pays du Jardin de la France.

The DGCCRF could not pursue the brothers for using the phrase ‘Breizh Gwin Gwen’ on the label as France does not officially recognise the Breton language.

The case was dropped by the public prosecutor’s office in Nantes just before the New Year. Supporters of the winemakers, including numerous Breton associations, said that the Loire Atlantique department is historically part of Brittany.

‘It’s a victory for the Loire Atlantique for the Loire Atlantique is a Breton department,’ Jean-Yves Bourriau, President of the United Breton Association, told France 3 news channel.

Breizh Gwin Gwen is a blend of Melon de Bourgogne (Muscadet) and Folle Blanche (a local variety).

Written by Oliver Styles

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