New Grand Cru for the Loire
Quarts de Chaume in Anjou is just awaiting the signature of the French minister of agriculture for its' final approval to Grand Cru status. There have been two previous attemtps to elevate Chaume to cru status which failed due to legal challenges by leading Anjou producer Domaine des Baumard. The Baumard family had successfully claimed that the distinction for Chaume devalued Quarts de Chaume and created potential confusion for wine drinkers.
There are strict rules for both Quarts de Chaume and Coteaux du Layon Premier Cru Chaume. These include no chaptalisation and yields of 20 hectolitres per hectare for Quarts, and 25hl/ha for Chaume. Alcohol levels are 18.5 minimum potential alcohol for Quarts and 16.5 for Chaume.
This is a very important development that opens the way to creating crus throughout Loire, providing they have similarly strict rules.