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Published:  23 July, 2008

Denis Verdier, president of ONIVINS, has predicted that the volume of French varietal wine will double over the next five years (reports French drinks review VSB). But French producers are deeply divided over the concept, and over which categories of wine (AOC or vin de pays) should be allowed to mention grape varieties on labels. At its AGM in February, the Confdration des Producteurs de Vins et Eaux-de-vie de Vin Appellations d'Origine Contrle (CNAOC) emphasised its opposition to the new category of Vins de Cpages de France, proposed by the CAP 2010 committee. Some supporters of the new category, meanwhile, object to the quid pro quo in the proposed reform, which would restrict the use of varietal names by AOC wines to the small minority which have historically used them. Louis-Fabrice Latour, head of Maison Louis Latour and president of the Syndicat des Ngociants Bourguignons, and Pierre-Henri Gagey, head of Maison Louis Jadot, have both said that they are not willing to abandon mention of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir on their regional appellation wines.

* French retailer Nicolas, which has branches in the UK, has introduced a new varietal range. Les Initiales comprises eight varietal wines marketed by two letters: Ch (Chardonnay), Cn (Chenin Blanc), Sa (Sauvignon Blanc), Cs (Cabernet), Me (Merlot), Ga (Gamay), Pi (Pinot Noir) and Sy (Syrah).