A leading proponent of biodynamic and natural-winemaking in Pouilly-Fumé will take the national institute for appellations - or INAO - to court, over its decision to strip him of his right to an AOC.
Alexandre Bain of Domaine Alexandre Bain in the Loire appellation of Pouilly-Fumé received a letter from the INAO last week ‘definitively’ revoking the right to label his wines AOC Pouilly-Fumé.
The decision was taken due to a missed deadline for a technical inspection of his vineyards and cellar that was to be carried out by September 1 by the independent inspection body Organisme d’inspection des Vins du Centre (OIVC).
Bain insists that the planned meeting was first cancelled by the OIVC, set for August 25, and that he postponed a second meeting on September 3 due to the 2015 harvest.
He has also said that he believes he is being treated severely because of his advocacy of natural wines, without added sulphur during winemaking and without the use of any chemical products in the vineyard. He believes this is why he has struggled to receive AOC accreditation in previous vintages, with several of his wines having to be labelled Vin de France in 2012.
‘I am awaiting clarification if this refers to all the vintages in my cellar – so 2014 as well as the newly-harvested 2015,’ Bain told decanter.com.
‘It is very difficult to accept, as the consequences seem to far outweigh the supposed fault. I can not let this pass’.
Bain has now appointed leading lawyer Eric Morain, who has successfully represented Olivier Cousin from Anjou in his own fight with the INAO.
‘It is very difficult in France to challenge the administration,’ said Bain. ‘My wines are different from many in Pouilly-Fumé, but I believe it is because they express the soil and the climate, and do not homogenise the taste. I must stand up for artisan winemakers everywhere’.