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New St Emilion classification is finally approved

A new St Emilion classification has finally been approved by the French appellations body, the INAO, after 4 years of controversy and legal wrangles over the much disputed 2006 classification. Saint Emilion is the only appellation to review its classification every 10 years, when chateaux can be promoted or demoted depending on quality. The new classification will come into effect from the 2012 harvest with the main change being an independent organisation to monitor the decision-making process and a commission of seven INAO members, none of whom come from Bordeaux, to administer the classification. There are currently 72 classified estates, covering 16% of Saint Emilion’s 5,500 hectares of vines.