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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Josie Butchart

Vouvray appellation chief Phillipe Brisbarre refuses to change labelling practices in the Loire - despite calls for Loire producers to make it clear whether wines are dry or sweet. Speaking at a tasting of Loire whites in London last week, Brisbarre told Harpers: Consumers must try the wines and find out for themselves. It is difficult for people to know if our wines are sec, demi-sec or molleaux, but that is a peculiarity of Vouvray'. Asked whether producers were concerned by consumers' confusion, Brisbarre pointed out that appellation rules were based on residual sugar levels, adding: This does not give an accurate picture of the total balance of the wine.' Hilkka Boldt, export manager of Vins du Val de Loire, said: Some wine growers understand the export market better and are starting to put an indication of sweetness on the back label, but more traditional producers do not want to change.'