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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
26 May 2006

The Préfet of the Gironde département has apparently just announced a plan to build a motorway which will bypass Bordeaux. Many of us who have tried to navigate our way through this beautiful city will agree that it could be useful, but three of the five routes proposed will either cut the Margaux appellation area in two, or go around it, encroaching on terroirs already classified as AC Margaux, or under consideration for such classification.

An action group to fight these proposals has been formed and, if you feel concerned about these proposals, you can add your name to a petition at

The group plead: ‘At a time when the tourist and wine industries are developing in tandem, this plan will seriously handicap the economic growth of our region and its ecological balance. Terroirs unique to the world such as the Margaux appellation and the famous crus of the Haut-Médoc will thus be carved up in this intolerable assault on some of the most iconic examples of France’s cultural heritage.

‘Visitors come from all over the world to travel along the “route des châteaux” and visit the wine estates. Can these “visionary” government departments find no better solution than to build a motorway which will encircle or cut in two one of the finest wine producing areas in the world? When will they build a motorway through the gardens of Versailles palace?’