International News

Justice gives hope to organic winemaker summoned to destroy 2000 bottles

The Administrative Court of Orléans has not suspended the prefectural order imposing on Sebastien David, a winemaker from Indre-et-Loire, to destroy his lot. But he promised to examine the legality of this decree as soon as possible after May 31.

Justice has made its decision in the case of organic winemaker Sébastien David. As we explained in a previous article , a prefectural decree – taken following an investigation by the Directorate General of Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) – required that it destroy more than 2000 bottles of his production before this Monday. At issue: the “volatile acidity” of his wine. The inspectors of the DGCCRF believe that its wine has an acid content too high. But Sébastien David, having made several counter-analyzes, had arrived at a different result. The winemaker had therefore seized justice.

This Monday, the justice made a decision in half-hearted, but that leaves hope to Sebastien David. Joined by Le Figaro, Me Eric Morain – lawyer of the organic winemaker – explains: “The Administrative Court of Orleans rejected the request for suspension of the order ordering the destruction of the wine of Sebastien David, on the ground that it was not demonstrated not that there was urgency. But at the same time, the court ordered that the merits of the case be examined very quickly at a future hearing. ” As a reminder, when an application for interim measures is filed, the judge is asked to suspend an order but, at the same time, the legality of the order is also challenged.

“We do not intend to destroy the 2000 bottles”

Concretely, the decision of the Administrative Court of Orleans means that the order of the prefecture of Indre-et-Loire is still valid. Normally, Sébastien David must destroy his 2000 bottles. But Me Eric Morain believes that the decision of justice of this Monday is “a stone in the garden of the administration”. “The court says it will review the legality of the decree on the merits very quickly. Implied: do not force destruction. Normally the administration in all its components should show some measure, “says the lawyer. Before continuing: “We do not intend to destroy the 2000 bottles”.

When will Sebastien David be definitively fixed? The Orleans Administrative Court said on Monday that the exchange of arguments between the parties should be closed no later than May 31. Clearly, there will be a hearing after May 31, in a relatively short time – still before the Administrative Court of Orleans – who will say if the prefectural decree imposing the destruction of bottles is canceled or not.

A petition entitled “Support Sébastien David, organic winemaker!” , Currently online at, has more than 158,000 signatories on Monday, May 13th at 3pm. Contacted Thursday by Le Figaro, the prefecture of Indre-et-Loire did not respond to our requests.

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