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Chaptal Jean-Antoine

The French chemist Jean-Antoine Claude Chaptal, Comte de Chanteloup (1756-1832) became Minister of the Interior and Agriculture under Emperor Napoleon (1769-1821). He introduced the metric system of weights and measures in France and invented the method of extracting sugar from sugar beet. The French Revolution, triggered by the storming of the Bastille in 1798, had led to a total decline in viticulture in France towards the end of the 18th century and wine adulteration was the order of the day. Chaptal fought against this, but supported an already older idea of the chemist Pierre-Joseph Macquer (1718-1784). In 1801, as the minister responsible for agriculture, he allowed the must to be enriched with sugar in solid form (cane or beet sugar) or concentrated grape must in exchange for an appropriate tax levy in order to increase the alcohol content.

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