Sixty French winegrowers, traders and supermarket executives are to go on trial accused of adding hundreds of tonnes of sugar to Beaujolais wines from 2004 to 2006, officials said Tuesday.
....Adding sugar to wine at the start of the fermentation process is legal under France's strict winemaking regulations but only up to a certain limit, and must be clearly recorded.
Investigators claim the scale of the sugar sales in the area prove local winegrowers were using the technique to artificially improve the flavour of their wines.
"The investigation is over. It is established that a traffic took place and many of the accused have admitted the facts," said the prosecutor of Villefranche-sur-Saone, Francis Battut.
....Accused of making irregular purchases and forgery, the defendants face fines and possible prison sentences.
The 2004 Beaujolais harvest in particular was of variable quality - with some vineyards producing musty-flavoured grapes.