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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Stuart Peskett

Beaujolais, one of the few French regions without a Vin de Pays category, is likely to have one created in 2005, with a new quality control system established at the same time. The measures were discussed at last year's Assises du Beaujolais, and InterBeaujolais co-director Michele Deflache believes that with the Vin de Pays option, producers will be able to take full advantage of the expanding global wine industry, as they will be able to offer a mixed range of wines'. The quality control system, L'Agrment la Mise en Bouteille (Approval at Bottling), would cover all Beaujolais except Nouveau, something that Roger Harris, of Beaujolais specialist Roger Harris Wines, disapproves of. He told Harpers: Obviously, everything that goes towards improving quality is a plus, but it does seem rather bureaucratic to me, and it's a pity that Nouveau has been left out - over the years, it has caused people to form very negative views of Beaujolais.' To be granted an AC from the Institut National des Appellations d'Origine, the wines would be submitted to a tasting by Cibas, which grants the agrment'. Cibas president Pierre Deshayes said: This system means that quality control measures will be as near to the consumer as possible. Wines will be tasted when they are actually bring bottled, and if they are of a high enough standard, they will be awarded an agrment.' But Harris added: Perhaps they are trying to create two different levels of quality. As long as the lower level is of sufficient quality, then that's fine, but if it's simply a way of commercialising poor-quality wines, then it will be a disaster.'