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Published:  23 July, 2008

The appellation system is being undermined by the widespread use of chemicals in the vineyard, the Loire Valley biodynamic producer Nicolas Joly claimed at a seminar in London on 6 November. The appellation system was the work of a genius when it was created in the 1930s,' said Joly. But if you talk about terroir and you have weedkillers everywhere, you have no terroir. A plant cannot feed on dead soil. People are curing diseases by weakening life.' Joly's broadside was part of a three-hour seminar and tasting organised by OW Loeb, the importer of Clos de la Coule de Serrant. The so-called Pope of biodynamics' gave an exposition of biodynamic theory and practice, which included a discussion of the four levels of matter' and the importance of life forces'. Joly said he is in favour of the initiative of Ren Renou, the president of INAO, to use back labels telling consumers about specific appellations. There is bad true wine, just as there is good industrial wine,' he said. But consumers should know the difference between the two.'