Chips On Their Shoulders

“FRENCH AUTHORITIES TO BAN OAK CHIPS France’s National Appellations Institute (INAO) said it had proposed a law to allow the country’s Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) regions to ban or limit the use of oak wood chips in wine. Although the practice was approved by the European Commission, the INAO remains concerned that using oak chips may damage the quality of wine in higher quality appellations.The decision from INAO has left some in the French wine industry a bit apprehensive as the country continues to struggle with exports. Allowing the use of oak chips in wine was adopted by the European Commission earlier this year to help modernize and relaunch EU wines on the world market after meeting with staunch competition from New World winemakers.”


Now here’s an unenlightened approach. Does the INAO really think that Lafite, Lafon, Clape and other such producers are really going to start using wood chips in their wines? This is a technique that has a legitimate use as a way to improve wines priced and created for everyday consumption. What a pain it must be to make wine in France. Such tools will be used by industrial winemakers and will be of little interest to those dedicated to terroir. No such ban is required.