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The Case of Cruse Affair for the Bordeaux Wines (Winegate) and Its Consequences on the Burgundy Wine Industry

[ Vol. 8 , Issue. 1 ]


Benoit Lecat, Claude Chapuis, Joelle Brouard and Laurence Cogan   Pages 25 - 30 ( 6 )


Background: The aim of the study is to show how the Cruse affair known as the "Winegate" has changed the wine industry in Burgundy. Cruse, one of the major Bordeauxsellers, was caught by the Customs Office in 1973 and condemned for fraud involving 20'000 hl of Bordeaux wine. This affair has generated a loss of trust between consumers and producers and also between small wine-growers who were selling their wine to the Négociants.

Methods: The objective of this study is to focus on the consequences that this affair has generated for Burgundy growers and Négociants. The method used is the analysis of historical documents (press articles and books on Bordeaux wines) to understand through a review the Cruise affair and its consequences.

Results: Under consumer but also retailer pressure, more and more winegrowers in Burgundy decided to bottle the production of their estate and sell it under their own label. To a certain extent, this new development entailed a competition with Négociants. The structure of estates moved from farm style companies to small SME's in charge of vinification, ageing, selling and exporting. Finally, some recent patents related to the wine fraud and mechanisms to create the trust in the wine chain, with specific regard to intelligent label and distribution, have been considered.


Bordeaux wines, burgundy wines, small wine business, wine chain, wine fraud.


Wine and Viticulture Department, California Polytechnic State University, 1 Grand Ave, Building 11, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407, USA.

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