Saturday, 18 July 2009

When is a Burgundy not a Burgundy?

A recent Wine & Spirit Association survey has found that most UK wine consumers think that, whilst the country of origin is probably of consequence, region is unimportant. It is intriguing in this context to see that the Burgundians are locked in dispute with their Beaujolais colleagues further South, who are planting Chardonnay apace. Beaujolais has always been counted as part of Burgundy even though their red grape is Gamay rather than Pinot Noir. But a mature Beaujolais Cru such as Moulin à Vent is often indistinguishable from mature Pinot Noir from further North. Yet it is the Chardonnay - the same white grape that is grown throughout Burgundy that is really causing the problem. The Burgundy winemakers' association considers that the Beaujolais producers should be calling all this production Beaujolais Blanc, whereas in fact it has the right to be called Bourgogne Blanc. They consider it is not Burgundy.. Surely their time would be better spent on ensuring the quality was indistinguishable from the posher stuff further North. But on second thoughts this is probably what is worrying them...

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