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Grapes in a vineyard in Veneto ready for harvest

Is Prosecco a grape or an origin?

A Prosecco debate rages in both Australia and New Zealand. The big question is whether Prosecco should be considered as being a grape variety or a geographical origin. Up until 2009, Prosecco was the name of the grape with which the sparkling wine Prosecco was produced in north-eastern Italy. But then the Italians changed the […]

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World trade in wine 2000-2012

English wine exports increase sharply, up 21%

English wine has become really trendy, especially sparkling. Now, the wines from the Brexit island are also moving forward in the export market. And maybe it’s exactly Brexit that’s the reason behind it. The pound has fallen (soon at parity with the euro) and English wine has become cheaper in other countries. Exports increased by […]

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Big tractor equipped for spraying

Lower copper limit for organic wine producers. Maybe.

Being an organic winegrower means that you are obliged to spray with copper to prevent certain fungal diseases rather than using synthetic pesticides. Copper is effective primarily against mildiou. As with all other pesticides the authorisation to use copper is renewed every ten years. This year the EU will evaluate copper and decide whether to […]

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No California Champagne in Napa Valley

Despite persistent attempts by France to bring about a ban, it is still permissible for Californian winemakers, under certain circumstances, to call their sparkling wine “California Champagne” (but not within the EU of course!). At the French Trade Minister’s visit to Napa Valley earlier in June, however, the wine growers there made it clear to […]

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Glyphosate, a herbicide to be allowed, or not?

The debate around glyphosate continues. The product is used as an herbicide, in for instance Roundup. It has been, since a while back, on EU’s list of unsafe products that maybe should be phased out. It is now time to renew the permit for its use (which is done every ten years for pesticides). This […]

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Chaptalization or addition of concentrated grape must – a political fight

The biggest IGP appellation in France, the IGP Pays d’Oc, has allied itself with the two largest European manufacturers of concentrated grape must. Together they will fight against chaptalization and the unbalanced competition the they believe exist between the wine producers that are allowed to chaptalize (adding sugar) and the wine regions that instead add […]

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Tractor equipped for spraying

Spraying of vineyards: 26 active substances should be replaced, says EU commission

The European Commission has recently published a list of 26 active substances used in viticulture that should eventually be replaced, because of their danger to people or the environment. On the list are copper sulphate, copper hydroxide, copper oxide chloride and copper oxide. All of these are used for spraying against fungal diseases, especially downy […]

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Organic viticulture: How do you use less copper?

It does not matter if you are organic or not. All vineyards can suffer from various diseases. Against certain fungal diseases, downy mildew for example, you can spray with copper, usually in the form of copper sulphate. Both organic and conventional growers use copper but the conventional ones can also, or instead, use synthetic chemical […]

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Spraying with helicopter

Copper, less dangerous than we think? Or not?

At the end of May, the EU Commission will decide whether to keep the present levels of copper permitted for organic growers or if the levels should be reduced. Currently, organic growers are allowed to use a maximum of six kilograms of copper per year and per hectare. Or more precisely, it is counted as […]

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Saved by the bell? (Or by the copper in the vineyard?)

No, more likely by copper. Many organic growers survive thanks to the permission they have to spray with copper against the severe fungal disease mildiou. This applies not least to the organic growers in Burgundy where the weather can be both cool and rainy. Currently, organic producers in Europe are allowed to use a maximum […]

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Planting Rights in Europe will remain

The planting rights in the EU were supposed to disappear. The decision was taken. And then it would have been possible for wine growers to plant more grapes if they thought they could sell more wine. The end of the planting rights would give the slow moving European wine industry a dynamic injection. But in […]

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Top wine importers Rest-of-World

World trade in wine 2000-2012

Global wine exports and wine imports The world trade in wine has gone up since 2000 although it went down slightly in 2012. But in real terms (inflation corrected) it seems that the value of the wine has gone down. Winemakers get less money today than in 2000. France is the biggest exporter in value […]

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Swedish wine consumption 2000-2012

The world’s wine consumption 2000-2012

Global wine consumption: who drinks the most wine? Global wine consumption was stable in 2012 at 243 Mhl. Since 2000 wine consumption has increased somewhat, up 8%. After a peak at 255 Mhl in 2007 it went down but with the stable figure for 2012 the downward trend seems to be stopped. The European countries, […]

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EU vs non-EU long term trend in wine production (top 11 countries only)

The world’s wine production 2000-2012

Global wine production down in 2012, Europe declining, most others growing. Is Europe strangling its wine sector? Global wine production decreased 6% in 2012 to 252 million hectolitres. This was partially due to a very small harvest in Europe but also a longer term trend. France, Italy and Spain are still the biggest producers. But […]

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Planting rights – the circus continues

France (and some other major European wine countries) is fighting tooth and nail to maintain planting rights in Europe. And even though they have managed to obtain an extension they are far from satisfied. The new system of controlled growth (which is not so different from the system that has been in force since the […]

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Planting rights, no thank you!

Quite some time back I wrote a guest article on the blog Les 5 du Vin on planting rights. They have moved the blog to a new platform and the article seems to have disappeared. Or I just can’t find it. So here it is again. My article on why the anachronistic and protectionist system […]

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Cold stabilisation in a stainless steel tank

Environmental friendly electro-dialysis?

There have been more reactions to the EU rules for organic wines. The French company Oenodia is upset about the fact that the rules ban organic wines from using electro-dialysis. Oenodia specializes in the treatment of wine with membranes, including electro dialysis. The company says that electro dialysis is a natural technique that does not […]

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Chateau Richelieu, Fronsac, Bordeaux

Should Bordeaux (or the French) have a monopoly on the term “chateau”?

Another example of outrageous protectionism or justified worries about consumer protection? The Bordeaux producers, or more precisely the Fédération des Grands Vins de Bordeaux (FGVB), the Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB, who sent the press release) as well as the Confédération Nationale des AOC (CNAOC) is incensed by a discussion between the EU […]

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Vines from the nursery

Should ”planting rights” be abolished or not?

“Planting Rights” is an archaic system by which winegrowers are not allowed to plant new vines (extend their vineyards) unless they have “planting rights”. Without these “rights” nothing can be planted. It has been in place for many years in the big wine producing countries in Europe, to some extent as counterpart to the government […]

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Sulphur pellet to clean barrels

The burning issue again: sulphur

In our March Brief we wrote that the habit of burning sulphur inside oak barrels to disinfect them is in danger of being banned. Because sulphur tablets are classified as biocides you need an authorization to be allowed to sell them. And this authorization is expensive. Now things look a bit brighter, according to La […]

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