Fly in the ointment for Caudalie

Wednesday October 18 2017 by Vitisphere

Touted as the ‘crème de la crème’ of anti-ageing skin cares, Caudalie’s Premier Cru creams iron out wrinkles better than they do wrangles. The Premier Cru and Grand Cru lines of cosmetics first came under fire from the 1855 Grands Crus Classés Council, the Saint-Emilion Wine Council and the Burgundy Federation of Appellations and Wine Growers (CAVB) in 2013 and are at the centre of a legal row over the protection of traditional statements that is not about to die down.

After losing a first ruling last year, producers’ organisations have launched an appeal with a new court case scheduled for April 2018. They claim that using the wording for cosmetics made from wine products undermines traditional statements - and appellations that include the statements - thus encroaching upon the world of Burgundy Premiers Crus. In his opening speech at the 35th conference of the International Association of Vine and Wine Legal Experts (AIDV) on October 6 in Bordeaux, Philippe Castéja, chairman of the 1855 Grands Crus Classés Council stressed that statements such as Premier Cru “are a genuine cue for product identification by consumers, conjuring up the prestige and excellence of our wines for over 150 years. It is inconceivable that any firm should be allowed to unduly benefit from the notoriety painstakingly built up and maintained by all the crus classes”.

Producers’ organisations are constantly on the warpath against any detrimental use of their flagship statements but in this case they seem to be even more disgruntled due to the fact that the dispute stems from other industry members. The owner of Caudalie – and the spa complex Sources de Caudalie, also implicated – Mathilde Cathiard does not want to comment on the case according to a corporate statement. Her mother, Florence Cathiard, owner of Graves cru classé Château Smith Haut-Lafitte, has stressed that her wine business is separate from Caudalie. 

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