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Duboeuf likely to appeal over blending conviction

Published:  23 July, 2008

Beaujolais producer Georges Duboeuf and his UK agent Berkmann Wine Cellars continue to stand defiant after the court ruling on 4 July 2006 which fined Duboeuf 30,000 (21,000) for illegally blending over 200,000 hectolitres of wine, mixing grapes from different appellations.

Berkmann confirmed that Duboeuf is considering an appeal because he doesn't understand how the judges can have arrived at their decision, and is keen to make sure the court has been given the whole story'. Duboeuf maintains the mixing of the grapes was accidental, and that the former production manager at the winery, Sylvain Dory - who has been given a three-month suspended sentence and 3,000 fine - noticed the error before the wine was bottled,

and resigned accordingly.

This quick reaction and subsequent declassification of the affected wine from AOC status is believed to be behind the court's decision to reduce considerably Duboeuf's fine from the prosecutor's original request of 130,000 (90,000), and Berkmann has confirmed that every single bottle of Georges Duboeuf wine is accurately and honestly labelled', adding, if anything, customers will be getting better value for money', following the release of the blended wine in question under

a standard Beaujolais label.

A spokesperson for Berkmann denied that the court's ruling would have a detrimental affect on Duboeuf's wine sales: With the 2005 vintage arguably the finest on record, there has never been a better time to buy Beaujolais. We would like to reassure customers that they can continue to put the utmost faith in Georges Duboeuf's integrity.' Georges Duboeuf is credited for inventing the concept of Beaujolais Nouveau and his wines currently account for around 20% of Beaujolais sales worldwide.