France’s National Institute of Origin and Quality (INAO), which regulates all French wine appellations, has issued a proposal to welcome 43 Beaujolais villages into the Bourgogne AOC. According to the proposal, 64 municipalities located in areas historically linked to the production of Burgundy wine, would instead be banned from the production of Bourgogne AOC.
The geographical delimitation of Burgundy’s wine production started in 1937. Yet, contrary to other renowned French regions such as Bordeaux and Champagne, Burgundy’s outer boundaries have never been officially set. As a consequence, while the historical heart of the region is today well-defined, peripheral areas such as the Beaujolais and the Chablisienne are still subject to discussion.
The INAO’s proposal is the result of a new delimitation process that began back in 2000, according to which around 7,000 hectares spread over the Chablisienne, the area surrounding Dijon and the northern Cote d’Or would lose the right to produce Bourgogne AOC, while 43 villages located in the Beaujolais, a region that has been so far entirely excluded from the use of the label, would gain such rights instead.
Burgundy winegrowers are reacting strongly to the proposal, launching a petition to stop the process that has gained 1,600 signatures in just three days.
A gathering of Burgundy winegrowers to discuss the matter is planned for the 6 February at INAO’s headquarter in Montreuil.