Beaujolais wine 'polluting rivers'

20th November 2003, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 19 (AFP) - A French green group on Wednesday blasted Beaujolais Nouveau as a threat to the environment, saying producers of the young wine polluted rivers with huge amounts of pesticides.

PARIS, Nov 19 (AFP) - A French green group on Wednesday blasted Beaujolais Nouveau as a threat to the environment, saying producers of the young wine polluted rivers with huge amounts of pesticides.

"The Beaujolais (region) produces more polluted water than wine," the ecologists' association Robin des Bois said in a press statement.

It named six Beaujolais rivers that had been "damaged by pesticides" and claimed that concentrations of these chemicals at the town of Lucernay meant that two rivers, the Azergues and Saone, were classifiable as incapable of providing water for human consumption.

Robin des Bois added that during the harvesting season, vineyards disgorged up to five times their usual volume of water in order to clean out wine tanks.

This water outstripped the handling ability of local sewage plants and was tainted by chemicals used for processing the wine, it said.

In a reply, the Association of Beaujolais Professional Winegrowers said "monitoring" of pesticide levels had been established in 1997 in line with national laws.

It added that good progress had been made towards coping with the seasonal discharge of water.

Beaujolais Nouveau, grown in a region just south of Burgundy, is made from Gamay grapes picked in the late summer and early autumn, and vinified to be bottled and drunk before Christmas.

© AFP

Subject: French news


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