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Beaujolais producers on trial

53 producers in Beaujolais in France were on trial this week for illegally adding sugar to their wines.

The process of adding sugar to wine, known as chaptalisation, is allowed in France, provided producers do not raise the alcohol level by above 2 degrees. Due to poor weather in 2004, the Beaujolais producers had sought official approval to add more sugar to allow them to raise the alcohol by 2.5 degrees. They went ahead with the chaptalisation process while awaiting approval which was subsequently denied.

The court will examine how the producers obtained their sugar with four supermarkets and four suppliers also on trial for illegally buying and selling about 600 tonnes of sugar between 2004 and 2007.