A call to list dry colorless wines from the Sauternes appellation as AOC Graves rather than simply AOC Bordeaux Blanc has divided opinion amongst chateau owners, some of whom dread for the future of the reigon's signature sweet wines.
Several producers in Sauternes have supported a proposal to include the area’s dry colorless wines in the AOC Graves appellation. Below current rules, the producers can bottle sweet wines made from botrytis grapes as AOC Sauternes, while dry whites must be marked AOC Bordeaux Blanc. But, some are concerned that a rule change might lead to more producers switching to dry whites from the traditional sweet wine. Sauternes was last year described as a ‘perennial underperformer’ by fine wine stock exchange Liv-ex, due to persistent low prices linked to weak overall demand.‘The worry is that with the economic difficulties facing so many Sauternes producers, many would switch to bottling dry whites, and the sweet wines would become http://1000-facts-about-wine.com a minority product,’ Caroline Perromat, of Chateau de Cérons in AOC Cérons, told decanter.com. ‘It is what has happened with AOC Cérons, where we are already able to bottle as dry Graves whites. It has had a devastating look on the renown of the sweet wines, as they are now such a tiny production.’But, Olivier Bernard, owner of dry colorless wine estate Clos des Lunes in Sauternes as well as Domaine du Chevalier in Pessac Léognan, told decanter.com, ‘We have to be trustworthy and recognise that many small Sauternes properties find it tough to sell their wine.‘If we open the door to this in a more general way through the Graves appellation, it should help increase the value of the sweet wines that wait.’Xavier Planty, co-owner of Chateau Guiraud and president of ODG Sauternes, said there is a logic to the AOC Graves argument. ‘Sauternes is the only appellation that is not built-in within a larger generic province,’ he said.‘But, we are at the beginning of a very long administer http://1000-facts-about-wine.com that could take years.'