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People also sell grenache wine as pinot noir in France, but that doesn't make it legal. Those adulterating their wine risk going to prison here, regardless of how they interpret the rules.


But, Tom, this does appear to be legal. A perfectly legal loophole. As with the Gallo incident (and others) one is fraud the other just points to a different attitude to terroir and winemaking, what is the spirit of the law and what is the law.


One caveat: for a producer to do it legally, even within the confines of the loophole, there must be an authorization by the INAO to do both operations in the same year. In Burgundy, I was told by the BIVB that this has not occurred in a very long time.


Alice, you're quoting a court case that is outdated and has been superseded by new regulations. And you seem to be interpreting regulations like someone who wants to wring and twist them into things they were not designed to do. And, as far as I can tell, putting together quotes that are independent into something that looks as if it has a link. I still have not seen any indication of that what you are saying is reality.

Tom correctly says that the fact that people do it does not make it legal. (And I doubt that people do this anyway.)

Remy says that there is a "loop hole" (but not the one you refer to in the text) but that it is virtually never used.

It would be interesting to see anything concrete that substantiates what you say - that one and the same wine can, legally, be both chaptalised and acidified.


Per, I've cited three authorities: the EU, Jancis and Jasper. In the regulations it doesn't use the word wine, it uses the word produits.

I'd love to be wrong here, I actually have no investment in acid and sugar being 'legal.' I'm just intrigued that nothing has been done to overturn the past legislation. Just because something is old doesn't mean it is not valid unless it is overturned.

The best you've given me is a friend who has heard from a professor. Remy has brought up the loop hole, which is the same as saying it is frowned upon, but not illegal.

I'm not saying this is done with great regularity but I do believe it is done and have no reason to believe it is not.


Also, this is what I received from Remy from France, which doesn't seem definitive at all, but more of the same.

7. L'acidification et l'enrichissement, sauf dérogation à décider cas par cas, ainsi que l'acidification et la désacidification d'un même produit, s'excluent mutuellement. »

Ce qui peut paraître ambigu c’est qu’une même année on puisse acidifier et chaptaliser, en fait le règlement indique que ces deux pratiques s’excluent mutuellement sur un même produit. Et c’est là toute la subtilité ! Il est possible, sous réserve que l’INAO ait donné son accord, une même année d’avoir l’autorisation de chaptaliser et d’acidifier mais cela ne doit pas être fait sur une même cuve, le même lot ! par contre il est possible, dans ces cas là, par exemple de chaptaliser en moût et d’acidifier en vin car d’un point de vue réglementaire ce sont 2 produits différents !

Toutefois, en ce qui concerne la Bourgogne les demandes d’acidification sont très très rares puisqu’il s’agit d’un vignoble septentrional et comme l’indique le règlement cela n’est possible que lors d’années exceptionnelles !
J’espère que ces informations vous aideront, la législation sur le vin n’est pas simple mais tous les œnologues la connaissent…..

Restant à votre disposition pour tout complément d’information.


This is no great scoop. The Porcheret incident was well documented. Porcheret was not only the winemaker for the Hospices but also for Bize-Leroy, that is not a minor figure in Burgundy.

Anyhow, so what? Would his wines have been any better with or without the interventions he used?

Is legislative restrain a way to force making good wine?

The only think that is important about the AOC regulations, to me, is that it tells me where the wine actually comes from. All the rest is accessory information and the market will and should decide what is good and what is worth buying.

Bloggers and journalists making sensationalist findings, 14 years after the fact, are really serving little purpose other that stirring the pot for no reason.


Joe, always a pleasure to hear from you. I had not realized he worked for Ms. Bize-Leroy.

By the way sensational is in the eyes of the beholder. This was not meant to be, in fact it was prefaced by a yawn. No? More of a piece of trivia as so many of us who care about wine are used to collecting. This issue is important only to those who want to be accurate in reportage, and bloggers and journalists, and dare I say people, should care about these things. For example. When you give a lecture and someone shouts out from the peanut gallery about acid and sugar in Burgundy, and they do, they do, one needs to be prepared.


Alice: You didn't realize Porcheret worked for Bize-Leroy because you did no research for this article. The question of acidification and chaptalization was resolved 14 years ago. A journalist should make an effort, even a small one.



M. Porcheret left Leory after the 1993 harvest.

This had absolutely no relevance (except as trivia) to my posting.

By the way (and yes, your fine journalism degree from NYU pre-dated the blog era) my blog and most true blogs (such as your own) are not compiled of 'articles.' For articles might I guide you to the button that says, 'articles.'

This is my blog for me; not for you. I am writing this for free. If I pick up readers or critics along the way, that is wonderful.

Regardless, always a pleasure.



You are a professional journalist. You have a book out.

The fact that this is a blog for you, something I have well researched, does not give you the liberty to do sloppy research and spread rumors rather than facts.

You have been doing it too long. Too many people use the lack of editorial supervision on the web to write whatever comes to mind. You know better.


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I'm hunting the Leon Trotskys, the Philip Roths, the Chaucers and the Edith Whartons of the wine world. I want them natural and most of all, I want them to speak the truth even if we argue. With this messiah thing going on, I'm trying to swell the ranks of those who crave the differences in each vintage, celebrate nuance and desire wines that make them think, laugh, and feel. Welcome.

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