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Tag Archives | EU

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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EU logo allergy allergenes

Allergic to wine? New labelling rules

From this year EU countries as well as Canada require that wine labels provide information about contents in the wine that can cause allergic reactions (allergens). It is already compulsory to mention on the label that the wine contains sulphur (if it contains more than 10 mg/litre). The new substances that have to be mentioned […]

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Vineyard workers on a steep hill

Why the system of Planting Rights should be abolished

“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 a counter-party to the […]

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Cleaning barrels with sulphur and a candle

Will a centuries old tradition in winemaking disappear?

The use of sulphur to be banned? To disinfect oak barrels by burning sulphur inside is a century old tradition.  Now the procedure could become illegal. According to the EU rules sulphur tablets is classified as biocides, which means that they must have obtained an authorization to be allowed on the market. And to get […]

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Barrels piled high in the wine cellar

All time high for Bordeaux export

Le Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bordeaux , CIVB, has recently published the 2011 export figures for Bordeaux. And the figures are impressive and actually the highest ever. 2.16 million hectolitres of Bordeaux were exported during 2011, an increase from 2010 by 22% . The value of the export has also increased, by 30%, to […]

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A reverse-osmosis machine for must concentration in Bordeaux

Soon we will have organic wines

On February 8 the EU agreed the rules for organic vinification paving the way for “organic wine” The member countries in the European Union have finally (on February 8 ) voted for an agreement concerning which rules should apply for an organic wine. As from the vintage 2012 we will se “organic wine” on the […]

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Cup of coffee

Latte wine?

New rules for labelling and additives in wine All pre-packed food products must state on the label if they contain possibly allergenic products. So far, wine has been exempted from this rule. But only for another six months. According to Le Journal du Vin, the EU has, on the recommendation of The European Food Safety […]

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Organic Crozes Hermitage, Chapoutier

Towards a European definition of organic wine: CEVinBio?

Last year the EU project to agree on a definition of what “organic wine” would be was discarded. There was too much disagreement on what substances and what technologies should be allowed in the wine cellar. So the wine world is left with “wine made from organically grown grapes” because it is well defined and […]

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EU puts organic wine on ice

There will be no new rules on what is meant by organic (biologique / ecologic) wines in the EU. Today, the only thing that a wine producer formally can say is that his wine is “made from organically grown grapes”. There is, formally, no such thing as “organic wine” in the EU. Rules exist for […]

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What is quality wine?

Sometimes one wonders what this concept ”quality wine” means. Take the fact that half of all French wine is classified as “quality wine” (as noted elsewhere in the Brief). Formally this is defined by the EU with the concept VQPRD (vin de qualité produit dans une région délimité – quality wine produced in a specified […]

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EU abandons reform plans for rosé wines

Some time back the EU countries agreed to a big reform of the wine sector. One thing that was agreed was to allow rosé wine to be made by blending white and red wine. This is already permitted, but only in Champagne. The idea was to make it a generally allowed practice. When time approached […]

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What’s a rosé wine?

As part of the EU wine reform that has been agreed by the countries’ agricultural representatives it is planned that it will become legal to make rosé wine by blending red and white wine. Today, in most EU countries, you have to make rosé from red grapes with a short skin maceration (except, we’ve heard, […]

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Red + white = rosé. True!

Blending red wine and rosé wine has been prohibited in most of Europe (except in Champagne where it is common). This is about to change: On January 27 the EU approved a proposal to allow the blending of red and white wine to make rosé. However, it is likely that each region will have the […]

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EU pondering what organic wine really means

Strictly speaking, there is no organic wine today. Instead, we have “wine produced from organically grown grapes”. This is because it is not defined what “organic” means in the winery, only what it means in the field. There is an ongoing EU research project, called ORWINE, that aims to define what organic winemaking should mean […]

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New labelling for organic wine

On January 1 the EU approved a proposal for organic agriculture and organic products. The most visible result will be a common labelling of organic products. The regulations also include definitions of the methods of organic agriculture (Fr. agriculture biologique) and production.

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Finnish wine threatens the EU CAP agricultural policy?

Apparently, Mr Fredrik Slotte on the Finnish island of Aland in the Baltic Sea grows vines on a small vineyard. He hopes to soon produce some 100 bottles of wine. The problem is that this Finnish vineyard came to the attention of someone in the EU agricultural administration and made him think: “If the climate […]

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EU wine reform agreed

The hotly debated reform of the wine scheme within the EU agricultural policy has finally been agreed. Albeit a substantially weaker reform than originally proposed by commissioner Mariann Fischer-Boel it is still a step in the right direction. There will be a voluntary plan to uproot (grub up) 175,000 ha of vines to reduce the […]

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”Bordeaux 1er Cru” – what is it?

Most wine lovers would probably not hesitate, with a longing in their eyes, to say that Bordeaux Premier Cru refers to the top five chateaux in the 1855 classification: Chx Margaux, Mouton, Haut-Brion, Latour and Lafite. But brace yourself for this… The producers syndicate for Bordeaux Supérieur has tabled a suggestion that the appellation “Bordeaux […]

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EU reform of agricultural wine polices agreed, but watered down

It was a weakened reform that was agreed with the agricultural ministers just before Christmas. Hardly cause for celebrating with a bottle of champagne, except for the champagne producers and other northern winegrowing regions who had argued for continued permission to add sugar to the grape must (chaptalisation) to compensate for weak musts – and […]

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New Zealand wine refused due to high copper levels

A German wine importer has refused delivery of a shipment of wine from New Zealand, from the Te Karianga winery. The wine contained 3.6 ppm (parts per million) of copper whereas the limit within the EU is 1 ppm. 4000 cases were returned to the producer. The returned wine will, it is said, instead be […]

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New French Vin de Pays rejected by the EU

France recently created three new Vins de Pays: “de l’Atlantique”, “de Gaule” and “de France”. These have now been rejected by the agricultural commission at the EU. The reason is that, according to European rules, a Vin de Pays (and its name) should refer to a specific geographic place name and that this geographic area […]

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