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INAO offices ransacked after yield cut

Published:  23 July, 2008

Between 150 and 300 producers ransacked the local offices of the INAO in Mcon following the decision to reduce yields for the 2005 vintage.

The protesters burnt documents and dumped several hundred kilos of grape must in front of the offices. The police used tear gas to disperse them.

Earlier in the day, the INAO agreed to cut permitted yields to reduce the estimated 26 million hectolitres (hl) of appellation wine made in 2005 by 1.5m hl. The main cuts are for reds and include reducing Bordeaux by 4hl per hectare, Burgundy by 3hl (but only for Mcon and Bourgogne Passetoutgrains), by 5hl in Beaujolais and by 10hl in Cahors. Muscadet is the only white to be cut - by 5hl.

The INAO has also reduced the permitted level of chaptalisation from an increase in alcohol of 2.5% to 1.5% for all French appellation still wines. This restriction will not apply to sparkling wines.

Three of the four presidents of the local Mcon syndicats, who are also INAO regional committee members, have quit in protest.