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French authorities move against makers of blue wine

Published:  02 August, 2019

French authorities have launched a prosecution against the makers of Corsican blue wine, Imajyne.

“There is no way that a wine can be naturally blue,” the French general department for competition, consumers and the repression of frauds said in a statement.

The news follows research by chemists at the University of Toulouse who revealed that the wine contained E133, also known as Brilliant Blue FCF, a synthetic dye also used in the production of curacao.

The use of dye in wine production is strictly prohibited in France.

Imajyne is produced by the Pozzo di Mastri winery in Figari near Corsica’s south coast. Launched in 2017, it is made using Vermentino.

Grapes are harvested at night and then rinsed in seawater before being vinified in a process involving natural minerals, herbs and spirulina, a species of seaweed, the winery says.

Spirulina contains a naturally occurring blue dye.

"We do not use E133; it's not the same process as curaçao," Sylvain Milanini, owner of

Pozzo di Mastri, is reported as saying.

The research team also found traces of E133 in Vindigo, a blue wine made by Bodegas Perfer, in the Almeria region of Spain, which is also on sale in France.

The research, published in the journal European Food Research and Technology, found no traces of spirulina in either wine.

The offence of putting additives in wine carries a maximum sentence of two years in jail and a fine of €375,000, The Times reports.

Imagyne retails for around €35 a bottle.