Chaptalization or addition of concentrated grape must – a political fight

Sugar at a champagne producer's

Sugar at a champagne producer’s, copyright BKWine Photography

The biggest IGP appellation in France, the IGP Pays d’Oc, has allied itself with the two largest European manufacturers of concentrated grape must. Together they will fight against chaptalization and the unbalanced competition the they believe exist between the wine producers that are allowed to chaptalize (adding sugar) and the wine regions that instead add concentrated grape must to enrich their must. IGP Pays d’Oc requires that any addition of sucrose to the wine should be mentioned on the label.

So, what’s the difference? In both cases the aim is to artificially increase the alcohol content of the wine. Sucrose, that is beet or cane sugar, is not naturally present in the wine. Proponents of concentrated grape must therefore consider this addition better because, although also undeniably sugar, it is sugar that occur naturally in the must. Northern regions of France, such as Champagne, are allowed to chaptalize while the southern regions, such as Languedoc, must use concentrated grape must if they want to enrich their musts. Beet sugar is less expensive and the previous subsidies for concentrated grape must have now been removed.

Our position is as it has always has been. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]We do not consider any enrichment of the must desirable and particularly not in southern France[/inlinetweet].

Read more about the discussion of enrichment on

Mout Concentre Rectifie, MCR, concetrated grape juice

Mout Concentre Rectifie, MCR, concetrated grape juice, copyright BKWine Photography

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