300,000 bottles of champagne confiscated
The production of champagne is subject to strict regulations. A producer was recently fined for not following the rules.
While the vast majority of the approximately 360 champagne houses adhere to the strict regulations, there are always cases where someone has not taken the rules very seriously.
Nicholas GreinacherEditor Wine
Anyone who wants to make champagne is bound by strict rules. For example, the grapes must come from specific growing regions within Champagne and most wines must mature in a producer’s cellar for at least 15 months, including at least one year on the fine lees.
While the vast majority of the approximately 360 champagne houses adhere to the strict regulations, there are always cases where someone has not taken the rules very seriously. As “The Times” recently reported, a producer has now been found who has violated several regulations at the same time and has to dig deep into his pocket for it.
Expensive breach of rules for champagne house
The point at which the grapes for champagne must be harvested is precisely determined each year. Likewise, the vines may not exceed a certain amount of grapes, which is also required annually. The French authorities became aware of the champagne producer Frédéric Gallois, who is said to have disregarded both of these rules.
A chemical analysis of his champagnes then showed that the champagnes also received grapes from vineyards that were not certified for champagne and whose wines were therefore not approved as champagne. A French court then found Gallois guilty of fraud.
While Gallois received a relatively small fine of 12,000 euros, the main part of the fine is likely to give him a much bigger headache: the authorities confiscated around 300,000 of his alleged champagne bottles with an estimated value of two million euros.