Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

War over planting rights erupts in Champagne

Vineyards and looking northwards to Reims

News story from

By Barnaby Eales
Published:  16 January, 2018
'A war over planting rights is being waged in France, where Champagne growers want to severely limit new plantings of vines by rival growers in areas surrounding Champagne’s production zone.
Wine growers are aiming to secure planting rights for hundreds of hectares for the production of mainly still, but also sparkling wine as part of the restoration of Ile-de-France, which historically until the 19 century, was one of France’s leading wine regions.'


'Patrice Bersac, Chairman of Syvif - the Ile-de France Growers’ union, said the powerful Champagne Growers’ Union, Syndicat Général des Vignerons de Champagne (SVG), wants to establish a 25 kilometre wide ‘cordon sanitaire’ along the perimeter of Champagne’s production area in which the planting of vines would be prohibited.' 

Read the rest here

I can't say I have any sympathy with the Champagne producers wanting to establish a 'cordon sanitaire' around their vineyard where no vines could be planted. After all any sparkling wines from here couldn't be labelled 'Champagne'. OK it might be disappointing for the Champenois if sparkling wines proved to be better than those produced within the designated Champagne region. Tant pis!

Not long ago producers in Sancerre were pushing for a similar ban to stop anyone planting Sauvignon Blanc to produce Vin de Pays close to the Sancerre zone. I have no more sympathy for this demand either. Both are foolish and unnecessary protectionism. Make sure that your wines are impeccable and there will be no problem providing the strict labeling laws are adhered to. 

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