Producer arrested after mislabelling scam in Chablis

Jean-Claude Fromont, a French wine producer, has been arrested after he allegedly blended lower-grade wines and distributed them under a Chablis label.

In a scam that is said to have lasted a decade, Fromont allegedly blended wine from the South of France with Chablis and sold the mixture under the wine name of “Chablis”.
Chablis is an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) and it is illegal to pass off wine that is not from the region under the Chablis label.

Jean-Claude Fromont’s domaine is situated near Chablis in Ligny-Le-Chatel and he makes wine under the Chablis and Chablis 1er Cru Beauroy appellations. Having founded Maison Fromont in 1972 as a Chablis producer and négociant, his vineyard holdings now include the areas in the Loire, Beaujolais, the South of France and the Rhône Valley. The illegally blended wines are thought to have come from the Rhône Valley and Provence.

Frédérique Olivaux-Rigoutat, deputy prosecutor of the Auxerre region told regional daily newspaper Le Journal du Centre that Fromont “is suspected of having sold wines from other regions under the label of Chablis”. Jean-Claude Fromont has been remanded in custody.

The scale of the scam is as yet unknown but will have potentially included the blending of other AOC wines with wine from other regions.

Frédéric Guégen, president of the Federation of Defense of the Appellation Chablis (FDAC) told Wine-Searcher; “If this fraud charge turns out to be true, it would be extremely serious of the image of Chablis. I am really frightened”.

Written by: Lucy Prosser

Lucy Prosser 


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