Les Bonnets Rouges invade the Tours offices of InterLoire
On Friday 13th October 2017 the offices of InterLoire in Tours were invaded by eight members of the militant group – Les Bonnets Rouges. The eight called themselves – Les Frelons (the hornets). InterLoire is the administrative and promotional body for many of the Loire appellations.
photo credit: Les Bonnets Rouges
The group – Les Bonnets Rouges – is based in Brittany and was formed in October 2013 to fight a new lorry transport tax, which they believed harmed agriculture in Brittany. Through demonstrations and militant action they forced the French Government to drop the tax in October 2014.
At InterLoire the group demanded to speak to Jean-Martin Dutour, the current president of InterLoire. They were complaining that a new regulation introduced by InterLoire at the beginning of August required that ‘Val de Loire’ should be on all bottles of Muscadet. They maintain that wines from the Pays Nantais – Muscadet, Coteaux d’Ancenis etc. are not part of the Loire but instead are Breton – Brittany – wines.
Jean-Martin Dutour met the eight and told them that they had chosen the wrong target. Instead they should go to the Fédération des Vins de Nantes in Vertou, close to Nantes.
Very soon after the Frelons invaded InterLoire’s offices, the Fédération des Vins de Nantes issued a statement disassociating themselves from the actions of the Bonnets Rouges. The statement pointed out that the use of the term Val de Loire was optional and that the Pays Nantais’ vineyards were both part of the Loire basin and part of Brittany.