The Foundations of the Denomination of Origin Wines purposes
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The Foundations of the
Denomination of Origin Wines purposes
No production of luxury in France is not subject to such control today than
fine wine and brand-spirits.
control was not imposed on producers, but claimed by them to try to end a crisis
more serious, caused by innumerable abuses and which would sink one of the main
riches of France and one of its glories national.
legislation that established this control is not born of improvisation; it is the final end of an evolution that lasted thirty years, leading to
Parliament legislative proposals, speeches and more reporting.
crisis the current regime ended could have been avoided; It was prompted by a clumsy legislation, ignorant of reality, causing the most
serious riots that have occurred in the French Agriculture.
We will see that the legislation on designations of origin suffered a series
of mistakes doing all of the same cause.
work from which it emerged that legislation had the serious defect of ignoring
were based on purely theoretical concepts, bookish or legal. It was to govern natural facts, the conditions of production, the human side,
that is to say, the psychology of men who were to obey their laws.
In short, we will see during this work to oppose two different theories: one I
call the realist thesis because it takes account of natural facts, is summarized
in a few lines:
appellation of origin is not a simple indication of source; he
clings to a certain idea of originality and quality.
The thesis which I call realistic does not separate the original idea of
the quality idea.
front of her was erected another, completely ignoring the facts and simply
taking in the words: designation of origin indicates the geographical origin; do not have to consider anything in it and just protect the source without
thinking of the other characteristics of the wine.
the first alone could maintain the quality of wines and give security, both the
consumer and producer honest, he was ruled out; this is the second, which, incredibly, has long prevailed.
the protection of appellations of origin, consider two orders of ideas: it must
provide consumers with guarantees of authenticity: it is necessary that the wine
actually comes from the region designated by the designation. But
this is not enough: in the scope of a geographic region so designated, there is
almost always next to the land suitable for the production of fine wines, of a
different nature soil, only own culture grassland or cereal,
or even wetlands.
The soil is one of the factors of
originality and quality of the product, common
sense indicates that a vineyard planted in
unsuitable land does not deserve the
appellation of a region renowned. It is
also possible that in this region, not
plant the low-yielding grape
varieties whose wines have established the
reputation of the appellation, but vulgar
varieties, high-efficiency, which can only
produce quality wines lower.
It is therefore not enough to guarantee the
authenticity of the product, it is also important
to ensure the quality, to the extent that
it depends on the soil and grape varieties.
These two kinds of guarantees should have been
linked in the legislation from the beginning;
the fact was unfortunately not so.
So there is to consider and protect in
the appellation of origin:
1 geographic origin
2 production uses.
There are two kinds of uses, equally
respectable, equally decisive, also
necessary for brand protection. Some are related
to obtaining the renowned product, others in the
geographical designation of the
Therefore, protective legislation designations
will consider all together, these
two categories of use: those governing the
production of the product and those that
determine the denomination.
Consider the latter to the exclusion of others,
it would engage in an artificial work,
baseless, arbitrary because it would
separate the facts of orders which are intimately
united in reality. Yet it is to this
mistake was oriented legislation, since
the 1905 law.
The 1905 law
can be said of the Act of 1 August 1905 that economically it was a more perfect
and more effective; it
was the basis for the organization of Fraud, made increasingly frequent and
dangerous by the progress of science; she saved from the Great Depression of ordinary wine fraud.
But when the wines and their denominations of origin, already overused, she
merely express an intention and we will see, from the beginning, it is oriented
in an unfortunate direction.
The delimitation designations regions was a result of this law.
The purpose of the 1905 law is to curb fraud, it was necessary to legally
define fair product, specify what the region which alone had the right to bear
the name of a specified origin.
1906, the France Winemakers Society organized a sort of Designation of Origin of
the Congress in which the representatives of the major regions of fine wines
from France were asked to describe the names or trademarks of their wine region
(the word appellation of origin was not yet commonly used).
I introduced him a detailed report on the wines of the Gironde.
In my mind, it's not the original only that the law should defend, but the
quality, or better to say, the characteristics of the wine that make it unique.
also tied-great importance to the test of tasting and especially to natural
factors determining the originality and quality of the wine, soil and grape
I wanted to draw attention to the danger that there would be to grant an
appellation of origin only because of the origin, regardless of the quality of
the guarantees due to these natural factors: the grape and the soil .
said in this regard: (excerpt) "Indeed, today marks of origin will be
defended, it would be possible for some owners, it must be admitted, to plant
vines in high-yield and poor quality some unsuitable for an area renowned soils so they would wines of absolute
authenticity, but of inferior quality, able to disqualify the region.
such importance to the quality, I could not overlook the importance of tasting
and I spoke in the following terms: The Court will not be assured that the wine
actually comes from the place that bears the name by a only
way: tasting, aided by chemical analysis. Studies should be undertaken to determine the boundaries between the various
components of the wine.
this end, a committee of brokers, owners, dealers in each region concerned,
collaborate effectively with oenologists chemists.
cooperation of all the factors of the wine gives everyone a clean taste, not
only tasting can recognize characters that are common to all wines from a wide
area, as is the Médoc, for example, but it allows to distinguish the special stamp added some purely local influences,
restricted to a commune, a local, single thought that makes connoisseurs attach
so much value to the sincerity of the brand.
like all arts, has a purely subjective value that depends on how it is applied; but there is no lack, in every region of proven experts and acknowledged
probity, capable of becoming as strong as conscientious experts.
The new requirements that will emerge from this still possible test of tasting
will be for the owners an incentive to do well and a backup of the reputation of
their regional appellation.
was, moreover, in the reports that I presented, a critique of boundaries by the
administration and I asked for the first time the idea of a
delimitation by the courts. "
The legislative work
Revolts of Champagne
Under the 1905 law, the government decrees were taken to delimit the wine
path, writes Clémentel, where we find successively all the steps of a modern
civil war: the strike of elected officials, the refusal to pay taxes and
eventually the uprising
first decrees were related to Champagne. There
were so profound disagreements between the producers of the Marne and Aube those
of belonging to each other and to the Champagne considered a historical
the land and the varieties of the Marne, profoundly different from those of the
Dawn. The natural conditions of production are not the same and yet the
administrative boundaries, as was envisaged, the merged under one name.
first decree of delimitation of Champagne took place on December 17 1908. He
refused to Aube Champagne appellation, yet it did not meet the Marnais. The
17 and 18 January 1911, a riot occurred. Following these incidents, André Lefèvre, MP, who had communication with my
1906 report, took the view that I had exposed.
said at the meeting of April 3, 1911: "The law is dangerous, because
administratively assigning a fictitious value to all that is collected in this
scope, we give a bonus to those tempted to plant in the wrong land,
doubtful grapes, giving wines of poor quality and that, however, under the
administrative boundaries, will most legally and regularly entitled to trusted
names we wanted to give them. I say that the day you launched
worldwide, with the guarantee of the Government and the official stamp, amounts
of bad wines, Bordeaux bad, ill-Champagne, you will not have helped to raise the
product name and increase the prestige of the
decree of June 7, 1911, taken to meet the winemakers of the Marne, lifted the
second time. Traders
houses were looted. It was still using troops to quell the riot.
Administrative boundaries also failed in Bordeaux.
shows that the work of administrative demarcation was tainted with a double
vice: on the one hand, this intervention in arbitration and administration, on
the other hand, the trend of orders to consider only the geographical origin ignoring the real factors of the quality of wine: the land
and the vine.
From that moment, these two designs would begin to collide in Parliament: the
thesis demanding quality guarantees for the designation of origin and the thesis
requiring that the only origin.
conflict between these two doctrines had begun to Parliament with André Lefèvre
intervention and continued until the promulgation of the Decree of 30 July 1935,
that is to say during the whole phase of legal boundaries.
The essential qualities are considered
June 30, 1911, Mr. Pams, Minister of Agriculture, filed on the desk in the
room a bill establishing the method of boundaries through the courts.
1 stipulates that the definition of goods bearing some original names, judges
would have to consider, regardless of the origin itself, the nature, composition
and substantial quality of this product .
The method of administrative boundaries was abandoned to make way for a new
method, but the two opposing views continued to face.
were thus exposed by Mr. Dariac, rapporteur, February 27, 1913: "With
regard to the winemakers, the mere fact that a product, be harvested in an area
should earn him the benefit of name for. merchants, wine can not be entitled to the protected designation unless he
meets the complete product definition.
this debate, the consumer can not however be the only person we did not hear. If Parliament wants to give the wine a protection that is needed, he is just
as it takes into consideration the buyer's wishes.
being tabled in Parliament, the bill was submitted to the Trade Associations and
Viticulture of the Gironde, and after long discussions, intervened on 18
September 1913, the agreement of Bordeaux which the Government adopted the most terms.
What were the
principles of this law?
1 - The appellation of origin is a title, and it is through these court
judgments that will be resolved conflicts that affect them.
2 - The law applied to all agricultural products derived from their origin
notoriety: wine, water spirits, cheese, etc ...
- The law protected the goods covered by the appellation of origin, not only
because it came from the place of origin, but because they were obtained with
plant varieties and farming methods according to which had value.
The project which was presented to Parliament by the Minister of Agriculture
at the time, agreed with all agricultural associations wore in one of his
articles the word "essential qualities."
To qualify for the designation of origin, the products had to have two kinds
1 - have been obtained in the place or region of origin.
2 - Present the essential qualities of the products that made the reputation
of the appellation.
The history of this law shows the gaps in methods of parliamentary work, and
how disastrous results they can achieve.
law came under discussion November 13, 1913 in the House; she devoted five meetings that were more confused when the true purpose of the
law was completely neglected.
doctrines confrontèrent, but that of the original complemented by essential
qualities was poorly defended. Parliamentarians did not believe that the appellation of origin is not a
common property, common to all wine growers in the region, each of which can
use, none of which has the right to abuse.
conception of the appellation of origin had not been so presented to Parliament.
was only later, in the Jenouvrier report we will talk, the collective character
of the appellation of origin was highlighted with the consequences that derive.
text voted by the Chamber as to the Senate, which appointed a Commission whose
findings were exhibited by Senator Jenouvrier. Its
report was tabled in the Senate on July 22, 1914. It is a legal work more
interesting. It defines the true nature of appellations of origin, collective right and not
We would like to mention a fundamental page of this report.
Speaking of quality products that deserve a label of origin, he said:
"The reputation that is well attached to products was the result and
reward of prolonged efforts of successive generations."
guarantees of quality that should be required for the right to the appellation
of origin were not considered, and, whatever the value of this report, the
adverse consequences was going to lead the 1919 law does produced
no less. The
war interrupted the development of this legislation. She was not taken to Parliament after the peace, when the Treaty of Versailles
erected in principle the international protection of appellations of origin.
law was passed May 6, 1919.
A campaign to reform the Law of May 6, 1919
few months later, I was appointed deputy of the Gironde, in November 1919 I
decided to change this harmful law. My
first visit was for Mr. Roux, Director of Fraud Control at the Ministry of
Agriculture, who had been the assistant minister Clémentel in the development
of the Law of May 6, 1919 on fraud and who were owed the makes substantial qualities.
explained what I had observed in the Gironde. He
said that the same facts produced in Burgundy and in this region, a large number
of French-American hybrid vines were being created. I explained to him my intention to amend the law on this point of 6 May 1919
and I made sure of its competition.
resolved to campaign against this interpretation of Article 1 of the Law of 6
May 1919, but did not want to deliver the bill I was planning randomly
parliamentary debate. I understood that he first had to convince the wine associations, create
movement in public opinion and act on it by parliamentarians.
take every opportunity to show the dangers of this law with serious winemakers
could now ensure for themselves.In
the project I meditated, the appellation of origin could not be achieved with
the original one, but it should be also guaranteed by production practices
relating to soil and vines, as I explained in 1906.
thought it would have been foolhardy to use the expression "essential
qualities" and seek to return to Parliament on the opinion expressed in
this regard. He
seemed more skillful me to build the law on absolutely new principles. It
was to restore the word "use" in the 1919 Act and its full sense to
require, for the appellation of origin, not only to commercial usage which had
extended the name of the primitive town, but some production customs such as soil and grape varieties.
could assume that after the sessions of the House in November 1913, the thesis
of the original warranty for the quality was definitely beaten. She
still found defenders and we will see renewed conflict in the courts because of
the interpretation of the word "use" contained in the first article of
Examination of Article 1 of the Law of May 6, 1919
New conflicts between the two theses
courts thought that to have the rights to a name, the products should present
both the original conditions and the conditions of production comply with the
procedures in force in the country. For others, the original condition was enough.
us examine the text of Article 1: "Anyone who will claim an appellation of
origin is applied to its direct or indirect prejudice and against its right to a
natural or manufactured product unlike the origin of that product, or to local, trustworthy and established practice, will be a lawsuit to prevent
the use of this name. "
The least one can say of this article is that it is not easy to understand at
is said that Stendhal, before going to the job, read some passages of the Civil
Code to train. His
style is certainly not gained luster, but its example could be imitated by the
drafters. The authors of the Civil Code would have at least three sentences to express
the ideas in one in this article.
1- A phrase to define the designation of origin, such as the Civil Code
defines property (art. 54) or sale (art. 1582), for example.
2- A phrase to express what conditions had to complete the appellation.
3- A sentence to tell how would occur legal action relating to an appellation.
To show that the courts had a regulatory authority in this matter, we could add
at this point in the text of Article 7 saying that the "final judgments or
decisions decide with regard to all residents and owners same
city or, if applicable, a part of the same town. "
is writing the sentence No. 2, which was crucial and it is thanks to her that
the law could have the clarity instead of the ambiguous language of s. That's where we would have seen the exact meaning that the legislature
intended to give the word "practice".
said earlier that there were two kinds of uses: the use of commercial and had
eventually spread to adjoining premises the name of a designation of origin and
production purposes, including those are
related to soil and vines. It is in this second sentence that the legislature would have specified
whether he meant that the appellation of origin should fulfill the conditions of
these two kinds of uses.
should say: To be valid, an appellation of origin must apply to a product
obtained in the place of origin or in neighboring places, under local,
trustworthy and established practice, are entitled to this designation
of origin; in addition, this product will be obtained in accordance with local, fair and
traditional practices of production.
Without such precision, decisions in opposite occurred to justice.
Interpretation of the law by the Court of Cassation
Court of Cassation, which had to decide between conflicting decisions,
interpreted Article 1 of the Act of 6 May 1919. It found that only were
envisaged by the legislator uses relating to delimitation of the area of
origin: one should
therefore disregard the production uses.
The law becomes a generator of fraud
interpretation of the Supreme Court threw the creative movement of new vineyards
in the land unsuitable for growing grapes. We
can say that the legislature of 1919, by ignorance of practical conditions of
viticulture, had deflected the law of his goal. This law against fraud had become generators of a new fraud.
That's where are conducted the Assemblies when legislating in abstraction away
from reality conditions!
Thus wine exhibiting none of the characters from that for which the
designation was instituted, could nevertheless enjoy this appellation.
In such a situation, what was the result?
Is that the name of guaranteed anything.
The danger I predicted in my 1906 report, that Mr. André Lefèvre announced
at the podium in 1911, was realized.
The buyers were deceived.
the law of 1919, a wine that could not be authenticated by his own qualities; is honesty and trust, the professional value of the merchant, intermediary
between the producer and the consumer, which was the surety with the latter, the
origin of the wine.
Now it was the title of movement authenticated wine, whatever was the nature.
is to enjoy this title movement giving a premium wine that accompanies some
producers planted varieties of common high-output, in the scope specified
this title was then issued for all wines of a region, whatever was of value. This legislation was also detrimental to producers.
By giving mediocre products entitled to the appellation, the 1919 legislation
allowed the exercise of unfair competition against the real owners of the brand.
The community, the nation itself suffering injury.
the protection of designations could not be ensured vis-à-vis abroad.
The law becomes a generator of fraud.
Need for new law
The vote on my bill became more urgent and necessary than ever.
had taken advantage of all the national Congress in which meet winemakers,
including the presidents of unions wine from various regions of France, to show
the dangers of the Act of 6 May 1919, as interpreted by the Court of
Cassation. Five National Congress between 1920 and 1925 successively adopted my proposal.
was no longer the voice crying in the desert as in 1906; I
did not send forth a forecast on possible dangers but I drew attention to the
real dangers which could determine the existence. It was thus gradually favorable public opinion for reform of the Law of May 6,
Mr Cheron, Minister of Agriculture, had appointed a commission called
"grands crus" to study the necessities remedies the plight of
viticulture fine wines.
of the major regions of the wines of France were members of this Commission and
I, as president, I drafted its work towards reform of the law of 1919 and I made
him adopt the text of the law that I had to present to the Parliament.
As president of the peasant defense Group of the House, which already included
half of its members, I explained to him this project and I did pass by that
placed it in Parliament on 23 June 1925, signed by 318 deputies
It read as follows:
I intercalai between the first and second paragraph of Article I of the Law of
May 6, 1919 the new provision indicated in the text below in italics:
addition, the origin of a city or a region delimited in accordance with the
preceding paragraph shall be applied only to products obtained in the region or
place of origin in accordance with local, fair uses and constant. "
"For wine, the production area and the vine mainly condition their
designation of origin; in any case the wines from direct producer hybrids are
not entitled to a designation of origin."
Thus the courts could fix other conditions the soil and varieties for
establishing the right to the appellation of origin.
In 1917, the law was finally passed in an open vote, by 535 votes against 0 as
"Art.3 - Section 10 of the Act is supplemented by the following
of the cause-related requirements contained in section 1 of this Act, no wine is
entitled to the appellation of regional or local origin of it comes from grapes
and an area of Production consecrated by local, loyal and constant.
wines from hybrid direct producers are in no case entitled to a designation of
Benefits of the 1927 Act
assured the final triumph of the thesis of the original warranty through
theory of the origin only, source of so many troubles, was now abandoned
Insufficiency of the law
If this law has not produced the full effect expected of it, it is for two
- It was optional, and was applied only in some regions. She
had been approved and claimed by presidents of national unions in the Congress,
but these unions represented an elite, a minority of winemakers, and when he had
to apply the new disciplines to the majority, they no longer met the
necessary approvals. Many
regions appellations unregulated by the courts in accordance with the new law
was under the Act of 6 May 1919 also still be to use varieties with high yield, planted on more land suitable
for quantity and quality.
- The original text that I had submitted to Parliament had been truncated: it
required as a condition of the appellation, not only the varieties and
traditional courses, but some production purposes; but
above the minimum level that we thought. It
is very unfortunate that Parliament have rejected this condition, because we
still live in regions appellation wines 7 ° obtained at a rate of 120 to 200
hectoliters per hectare, that is to say with quadruple yields what should be the name of a wine.
underlines the names had difference between them as to the guarantees they
offered. You could put them in this regard into four categories:
1 - For some, it was a real discipline of production imposed by a judgment in
which not only the production area, the grape varieties, but the minimum degree
and certain cultural conditions were determined as conditions for the
names were a rare exception. They showed others the way to follow.
2 - For two famous appellations of the Gironde, the Act of 1927 was
misunderstood and misapplied by the courts.
- In other appellations, the Act of 22 July 1927 had been applied strictly. The only two requirements: the production area and the vine had been
established by a judgment.
- For other names at last, and it was a large majority, the 1917 Act was not in
force. Loyal names were confused with others.
Law of 1 January 1930 along well that a distinction was made between the simple
indication of the place of production of a current wine and the appellation of
origin of a fine wine, when it says in Article 2: "In no
case should not be any confusion between the name of the place of production and
the appellation of origin. " But
she gave no way to avoid this confusion. She
asked, in a way, the impossible. To benefit from the advantages granted to wines with a very large number of
current wine producers declared their wine under the appellation of origin.
can not explain such gullibility on the part of the legislator; as
we had the opportunity to say already, it seems that the human side completely
escaped them. This
resulted in a multiplication of the number of designations which contributed to
mislead the consumer.
Other causes of the proliferation of designations of origin
law of 6 May 1919 stipulates that the origin of matter in appeal judgments are
suspensive when disputes are brought before the Court of Cassation. As
the producers that unduly benefited from an appellation had lost their case
before the Court of Appeal, did not hesitate to bring before the Court of
Cassation and thus use of the disputed names pending the judgment of the Court. They
thus earned a time it was their precious and benefits he drew a designation
applied improperly made up for court fees. Also appeals to the Court of Cassation they were almost the rule.
Article 3 of 1 January 1930 which prohibits the naming of wine the words
"raw", "castles", etc., when not designate an area but a
fictitious believed the ban did not apply to wines with declared an
appellation of origin. So traders who managed to throw imaginary declared closed these fictitious
wines with designation of origin, communal or regional, they had never thought
of claiming before.
It was as if the law was looking for opportunities that could enable the
proliferation of designations of origin.
the producers engaged in court mock trials in order to delimit their judgment by
a wine region on the basis of geographical considerations and the courts
delineated and new regions irrespective of whether the designation as delineated
covering wines with certain quality, or even if it had a certain notoriety under local and
order to address overproduction, a law called "Wine Statute", dated
July 4, 1931, which we will discuss later, included a number of provisions
affecting owners producing more than 400 hectoliters: royalties reaching high yields
and larger crops; limiting
plantations, blocking a portion of the crop in some years, compulsory
distillation of a certain percentage of the harvest. But
the label of origin wines were exempted from these measures, whatever was the
value of the origin. Hence
the creation of a large number of improvised appellations of origin.
add that the Parliament itself, contrary to the principles he had imposed and
doctrine formulated in the Act of 6 March 1919, began to play, under pressure
from representatives of some areas, the delimitation some of origin without securing any guarantee of quality on soil or vines, and
zones, and having a legal formula, included the exemption of constraints on
current winemakers wines by the wine status.
That is to say that the disorder had reached its peak.
Lafforgue, director of agricultural services of the Gironde, wrote about it in
an objective and documented study: "The proportion of wine with appellation
reported increased in 15 years of a worryingly This, in. we believe one of the essential causes of the crisis that weighs so heavily on
the wines of real quality ".
1923, the total reported wines with a designation of origin did not exceed 5
million hectoliters. She rose to 9,995,682 hl in 1931 and 15,720,756 in 1934 Hl.
From 1930 to 1939, the average reported with wine
designation of origin was
700 00 Hl, or 19% of the metropolitan production. The producers of ordinary wines of the south and Algeria, hard hit by the
blockade, rightly protested against the exemptions granted to producers of
common wines with designations of origin misleading.
general movement arose against these abuses; it
was absolutely necessary that we ended it.
The wine status: a Lifestyle changes
In 1927, a crisis, ever increasing, due to overproduction, raged in the trade
of ordinary wines.
1931, Parliament had to decide on a system of organization of wine production
that aimed to regulate the sale and prevent the crisis. This
was to maintain a balance between supply and demand, reducing the first and
increasing the second. It is this organization test was called the wine status.
It was important to prevent the dangers that overproduction has caused
worldwide, both in America and Europe.
1931 statute forbade wine plantations for ten years for more than 10 hectares
most significant action was the blocking, that is to say the prohibition on wine
growers harvesting more than 400 hectoliters of ship beyond a specified
proportion of the harvest. Compulsory distillation imposed on them when the total available, according to
the declarations of harvest, exceeded a fixed maximum.
was action quite new, which contrasted with the liberalism of the time; it was a business, not a command economy by the state, but rather saving
organized by the profession itself, as the public authorities were merely
absorbing the measures demanded by producers.
was the first test of organization of production in France.
attempt reveals a true evolution in morals; it shows that the profession is ready to undergo some constraints in order to
obviate threatening dangers.
Only at that time, fine wine producers thus enjoyed the most absolute freedom.
We have shown that this freedom was going to anarchy.
truth, the crisis of fine wines, as we have seen, was completely different from
that of ordinary wines since there was no overproduction of fine wines; on the contrary, since the areas planted with vines were reduced in the
country of production fame.
But the economic discipline that was required producers of ongoing wine was an
example for producers of fine wines.
we consider the irritation among ordinary wine producers by the growing number
of winemakers escaping through misleading names, blocking and distillation; if
one considers, on the other hand, the statement noted 16 million hectoliters of
wine appellation, if we finally considering what was then called, rightly,
"the scandal origin
", it logically leads to the conclusion that the time had come to accept to
wine producers end the effort of discipline required by law that I intend to
propose to the Senate.
Review of solutions
Before the discredit which had fallen appellations of origin, what to do?
Should we close our eyes?
Then they let go national wealth.
is no quality product without a label that distinguishes and differentiates the
ordinary product. But there is no viable name without protection.
Waive protection of appellations of origin wine was give up any quality policy
wines today are as good as ever, and perhaps their production is the only mode
of human activity in which, at that time, there was no exaggeration in
production because each year had been torn before the 1914 war thousands of hectares in the most
we allow the producers of fine wines, already suffering so severely by the
export crisis, screw production undermined by unfair competition from producers
of ordinary wines, unoriginal, not superiority, which had sought in 'designation of origin as a means to escape the heavy loads of wine status
imposed on ordinary wines.
Were they denied protection both the consumer and producer loyal?
Would they allow a consumer buying above the ordinary wine prices a
designation of origin to wine, has two in three chance of being cheated?
is the country in the world that has made the most efforts for the protection of
industrial, literary, artistic, wine. Lawyers
she sent in the International Congresses have authority. It
imposed in the peace treaties defending its titles in 24 nations.
France, which she was the most numerous and the most prestigious designations
of origin to be outdone in the protection of these designations by Italy,
Portugal, Spain, Luxembourg?
It was here a national interest first and foremost.
What to do ? Unable
to leave things as they are. It was necessary to attempt a recovery effort or admit the bankruptcy of
France in the field where, for centuries, it occupies the most prominent place
and at a time when the salvation of its production is in the pursuit of quality.
Examine possible solutions.
I think it might be sufficient to bring the volume of appellations of origin
that it had to be really, that is to say 16 million hectoliters to 5 or 6
obviously the general desire; the
big concern then was to do away with the false appellations of origin. It was thought that the true designations of origin that would remain would
retain their old qualities and deserve their reputation.
But how can
this selection? How did admit in an appellation of origin that the only quality wines produced
in accordance with ancient local custom that had created their reputation?
We could achieve that by controlling each of the production elements: soil,
grape varieties, cultivation methods.
Deposit and promulgation of the law on controlled appellations
Such was the purpose of the bill that I put before the Senate, March 12, 1935.
said in the explanatory memorandum: "The problem facing us was twofold:
1 - Allow consumers to easily distinguish designations covering quality wines
from those apply only to ordinary wines;
- For the names that until recently, applied only choice of products, establish
a production discipline, control and quality assurance. For
this purpose, requiring real names for certain production conditions, not only
on grapes and the production area, but a limitation of the average production
per hectare and a minimum degree conditions according to appellations.
But who can fix
these conditions? Courts ? It is conceivable that we have appealed to them to determine the boundaries of
designations, because there could be a dispute between opposing parties claiming
the use of a label.
But it is now to ensure the quality of wines covered with such designations of
origin, to ensure consumers in a word, to establish production discipline.
Obviously this can not be the work of the courts, that discipline can be
highly professional work can only be imposed by the interested parties
natural that the administration is working there; but it does not seem possible that accomplish this task alone.
As soon as the 1919 Act gave a status designations of origin, were created in
all regions of fine wines of Trade Unions for the defense of designations of
origin and of the Unions or Federations of trade unions.
This is their group can with more authority and competence to determine the
conditions of production of each denomination, with the help of local
associations, local experts, specialized staff.
conditions may vary by region, but should be inspired by a single doctrine: the
elimination of common varieties and unsuitable land, establishing a minimum
level and a maximum yield, varying designations.The State will be represented in the Committee, and it will be a significant
number of staff.
It is now to differentiate designations of origin applying to wines whose
quality is controlled, those that cover ordinary wines.
can prevent wine growers to give their wines, whatever they are, an original
you can inform the consumer that certain appellations correspond to select
wines. These names will be called "controlled".
For that reason alone, a selection will be instituted in the names. "
In the explanatory memorandum, I also foresaw the creation of the National
I explained the bill establishing the controlled labels on the bases that I
have indicated to the Wine Group of the Senate adopted it.
It was signed by all representatives of the fine wine regions and filed March
So there were two in each wine region appellations of the same name: the
controlled and the other free, called single appellation.
Although the single name system was not imposed on wine producers, however,
those who decided to adopt it proved year after year more and more.It
is April 3, 1942 that the appellation contrôlée became mandatory.