Legal challenges to Saint-Emilion classification double the price of applications

Mercredi 17 mars 2021 par Vitisphere

Applications can be submitted until 30 June 2021. Tastings will begin at the end of the year.
Applications can be submitted until 30 June 2021. Tastings will begin at the end of the year. - crédit photo : Conseil des vins de Saint-Émilion

The prices of Bordeaux’s Grands Crus Classés aren’t the only ones soaring – the cost of applying for the classifications is also on the increase. In fact, they have risen significantly more than the prices of GCC. Before the 2006 classification, and the first court cases, the application fee for the Saint-Emilion classification was nothing, but it has been spiralling upwards ever since: €1,500 in 2006, then €6,500 for the 2012 classification (and €7,500 for the Premier Grand Cru statement), and now €14,000 for the next classification in 2022 (€21,000 for the Premier Grand Cru statement).


The call for applications for the 2022 Saint-Emilion classification began on 8 March and is being organised by the national institute for origin and quality (INAO). When setting the fees for applications, the institute factored in provisions for future legal proceedings, and also invested in making the future classification legally watertight, taking a belt and braces approach.


INAO points out that “the costs stem from a combination of factors linked to making the system secure, and involve recruiting a consultancy firm for the two unsuccessful public contracts and the contract with Bureau Veritas Certification, a legal consultancy firm for monitoring the procedure as it progresses, the provision for future litigation/legal costs, the significant increase in the cost of the service provided by the inspection body due to the requirements of the specifications”.


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