fine and release for two personalities from the Bordeaux vineyard

The long-awaited deliberation came to close, Monday, October 25, nearly ten years of proceedings. The Bordeaux Criminal Court sentenced Hubert de Boüard, 65, co-owner of Château Angélus, in Saint-Emilion (Gironde) to a fine of 60,000 euros, including 20,000 euros suspended, for “illegal taking of interest”, in the classification of the grands crus of Saint-Emilion. Also targeted by the complaint, Philippe Castéja, 72, owner of Château Trotte Vieille, was released.

At the end of the last ranking of 2012, which rewards a mention “Great classified growths” Where “First classified growths” the winning castles, three demoted civil parties, the Croque-Michotte châteaux, Corbin Michotte and the Tour du Pin Figeac had filed a complaint against the two participants, accusing them of their involvement in the criteria for drawing up the ranking.

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During the deliberation, judge Denis Roucou demonstrated that Hubert de Boüard had “Actively and knowingly participated in the process of drawing up the regulations, although he was entrusted with a public service mission and had a direct and personal interest in the classification which was to take place”, denouncing “Manifestations of self-esteem and small arrangements between friends”.

Financial valuation and notoriety

At the end of the hearing, Jean-Yves Leborgne, Philippe Castéja’s lawyer, welcomed the release of his client, arguing that “The withdrawal that he had imposed in the decisions concerning the classification of SaintEmilion justified his being exonerated ”. For Eric Morain, civil party lawyer, this decision is “A satisfaction and a relief”. And to add: “We were told that it was not possible to have this type of case tried in Bordeaux, and there was a trial. We were told that it was not possible to win, and there was a conviction. “

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And if the court requested 2,500 euros in damages in favor of the professional union of the Confédération paysanne de Gironde, which had become a civil party, and 1,000 euros in respect of each of the three plaintiff castles, while Rejecting them, Pierre Carle of the Château Croque-Michotte did not hide his satisfaction on leaving the courtroom. “The primary goal was to condemn the illegal taking of interests, and this is what has been demonstrated by the court”, he expressed.

Established in 1958, this classification is of crucial importance in Saint-Emilion. In addition to the reward that it lavishes, it allows a financial valuation and an unprecedented notoriety. Revised every ten years, its regulations are drawn up in particular by the national wine committee of the National Institute of Origin and Quality (INAO), attached to the Ministry of Agriculture, which validates the classification regulations, but also its results.

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