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Senior figures meet to discuss new St Emilion classification

The long awaited new classification of St Emilion has moved a step closer following a meeting between French appellations body the INAO and leading chateaux in the area.

Yves Bénard, president of the Comité National des Vins at the INAO (Institut National de l’Origine et de la Qualité), came to St Emilion on Thursday to explain the new classification rules to local producers and growers.

The regulations are due to come into effect with the 2012 harvest, following a row which dates back to the 2006 classification, which was plunged into chaos after disputes involving chateaux stripped of their classified status.

St Emilion’s list of classified chateaux is revised every ten years, with some producers being promoted into the list, and others relegated.

But following the rancour surrounding the 2006 classification, a compromise agreement led to promoted and demoted chateaux all keeping their status.

The new rules involve the establishment of an independent organisation to monitor the decision-making process and to make it proof against legal challenges.

The new classification will be administered by a commission of seven INAO members, none of them from Bordeaux.

Written by Richard Woodard

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