Legal battle amid claims of conflicts of interest against top French winemakers


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In September 2018 two leading figures in the wine region of Saint-Émilion near Bordeaux – one of the most prestigious in France – were placed under formal investigation over claims of an illegal conflict of interest. Just under a year later, on August 16th 2019, the two men, Hubert de Boüard de Laforest, aged 63, co-owner of the Château Angélus and a consultant wine expert and Philippe Castéja, 70, owner of the Château Trottevieille and a leading wine merchant, were sent for trial. They are accused of helping to draw up rules about what qualifies as a top-ranking Saint-Émilion wine while at the same time benefiting from those same rules as wine producers.