The question of chaptalisation versus enrichment with concentrated grape must continue to stir up emotions in southern France.
At the Vins IGP congress recently the producers lamented the fact that the state subsidies for enrichment with concentrated grape must has been removed. Chaptalization, meaning enrichment with regular sugar, is much cheaper, but prohibited in the south of France. Prohibited, mind you, on the wine producers’ request. So, they now have to use the more expensive method, enrichment with concentrated grape must, three times more expensive than sugar. But they do not want to pay for it, the state should do. And they think it is unfair that the wine producers in the north of France are allowed to chaptalize.
We have asked the question many times, but here we go again: Why do they have to enrich their wines at all in the south of France?
Do the producers of IGP wines in Languedoc harvest early (for safety) with low potential alcohol (10% is the minimum for an IGP Pays d’Oc) and then enrich up to 12-13%?
No, forbid all chaptalisation and enrichment. Everywhere. There is even a trend nowadays for low alcohol wines!
Read more about enrichment in southern France at La Vigne