11 June, 2002

Expensive day in the courts

The fist of the authorities land rather hard, rather blunt when winegrowers cheat.

The other day was "journée des viticulteurs" - expression from the newspaper l'Union - at the court in Reims. Therefore I now know a bit more about, how much the judges assess different offences at.

  • The customs officers found amongst others 500 liters of wine, 97 bottles of redwine and 1.321 bottles of sparkling wine in the caves at a winegrower of Aÿ. Wines that were never mentioned in any of the papers you are supposed to. The unfortunate objected that the wine was for his own consumption, but the court still fined him 16.752 euros.

  • In 2003 a winegrower in Villers-Allerand planted vines on half a hectare, that is part of the delimitation and was approved to be planted with vines. However his access to this land, owned by his parents, was not approved. The vines were removed and the winegrower fined at court to pay 450 euros.

    Neighbours and family
    You could ask yourself, how the authorities get to know such details. One of the answers is that neighours, family and friends, turned unfriendly for whatever reason, report irregularities or even illegalities. That is also the case in Villers-Allerand.

    In a slightly different category I remember, how a company, hired to do the vendage some years ago, began to harvest the grapes in one plot a couple of days early. Different dates for different grapes were confused by mistake. These grapes were eventually all scrapped.

    This way of blunt and sure settling is also a way to keep the morale and quality up.
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