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Saint-Émilion: Parking Lots, Patronage, and Profit in Bordeaux

Isabelle Saporta, a French journalist who has recently published a book called Vino Business has some harsh words for those in control of the powerful chateaux in the storied Bordeaux wine region of Saint-Émilion. She claims, as reported in The Drinks Business, the quality and taste of a wine counts for less than a third of its judgement for top Grand Cru Classé designations. So what makes up the the rest? "Surreal criteria" that include "...the size of the visitor car park, the comfort of the conference rooms and the overall architecture."

Daily Mail has a retort from Director of the Council of Saint-Émilion Wines Franck Binard. He calls the book "excessive and hollow."

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