Tag Archives | politics

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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Picking and sorting grapes in the vineyard

“Sustainable” and “Fair Trade”. What is it? Does it make sense?

Fair trade, sustainable, organic,… Is it perhaps a meaningless terminology? “Sustainable” is actually quite a curious terminology. Not least for wine. Sometimes it is used as some kind of “super category” embracing everything that is organic, environmentally friendly and sometimes even “ethical”. At other occasions it is used to describe a more narrow type of […]

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The wine shops on the internet, are they all rubbish?

This will give you yet another curious view on the Swedish wine scene and the Swedish journalist community. In Sweden there is a retail monopoly. But since a few years back, thanks to EU regulations, Swedes are allowed to buy wine from sellers who are based in other EU countries. This has sparked a budding […]

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Vineyard landscape

Who will win – Champagne or Burgundy?

At the beginning of next year president Sarkozy will decide if he will choose Champagne or Burgundy to be the French candidate for the 2012 UNESCO world cultural heritage. There is of course also the possibility that none of them will win. There are other cultural candidates. Burgundy is stressing the climats in its application. […]

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A fence as a wind shield in a vineyard

Vine planting rights: a return to protectionism?

A few years back all EU countries agreed to a reform of the agricultural policies concerning the wine sector. One element was to abolish the existing system with planting rights, that decrees that a grower has to ask for strictly controlled planting rights from the authorities. One consequence is e.g. that a successful producer cannot […]

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Yiannis Boutari

Greek winemaker becomes mayor of Greece’s second city

Yiannis Boutaris was recently elected as mayor (a politically important role) in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second biggest city. Yiannis Boutaris is part of the same family that has given its name to the famous Greek wine producer Boutari (without the s). But in the 90s Yiannis Boutaris choose to go his own way. He left the […]

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Tied vine

Freedom to the vines? Should planting rights be abolished?

A few years ago the EU countries agreed a big reform of the wine production sector. A big part of this was the abolishment in time of the “planting rights” system. (It was also suggested that chaptalisation, adding sugar to increase the alcohol level, should be forbidden but winemakers protested too much.) The planting rights […]

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French wine TV relocates to Luxemburg

Edonys is the cryptic name of a new television channel that will be entirely dedicated to programs about wine. The channel was created about a year ago by an entrepreneur who has specialised in creating very niche focused TV channels. But Edonys has now received a definitive “no” from the CSA (the French authority who […]

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Protected origin

Many wine regions are very keen to protect their name. It is also becoming increasingly common for other things: cheese, ham, chicken and even a certain kind of lace (no not that kind) have protected names through ‘appellation controllée’ or similar. The most fanatic name protectors are the champenois who have fought a name battle […]

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Vandals destroy a GM vine test plantation in Alsace

A group of around 60 vandals broke during the night of august 15 into an experimental plantation created by the French agricultural research institute (INRA) in Alsace. The tore up and destroyed 70 vines that had been planted to see if genetically modified vines (GMO vines) could survive the dreaded disease grapevine fanleaf virus (GFLV, […]

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Time to forbid wine writing in Norway? – According to some!

Kjersti Toppe is a politician representing the Norwegian Senterpartiet (The Centre Party). In a recent article in Dagsavisen (Google translation) she argues that wine articles in the press should be forbidden. She says that the ban against alcohol advertising in Norway is being eroded. The Norwegian wine writer Heidi Jaksland is of a different opinion. […]

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New trials with genetically modified grape vines

The French agricultural research institute (INRA) has – again – planted an experimental vineyard with genetically modified vines. Out of the 500 vines in the test vineyard 70 have been genetically modified to see if that can counter-act the dreaded fan leaf virus disease (court noué). “Again”, since the started a similar trial a few […]

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Binge drinking leads to risky sex – perhaps

Does binge drinking lead to risky sex among college students? The answer seems to be, yes, perhaps. The American Association of Wine Economists usually publishes papers on less sexy subjects (as e.g. Measuring the Economic Effect of Global Warming on Viticulture Using Auction, Retail and Wholesale Prices), but Jeff DeSimone has just published a paper […]

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French wine TV channel to become Luxembourgeois?

It’s called Edonys – the TV channel that will be entirely dedicated to wine. It’s a project launched by Media-Place Partner. the TV channel will air interviews, reportage, debates, etc but exclusively on a wine theme (much like BKWine TV, one can perhaps say, but with a slightly bigger budget and different ambitions… And curiously […]

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Catastrophe relief organisations refuse donations from wine importers

In the newsletter WoW News we read that several catastrophe relief organisations in Sweden have refused or returned donations from wine importers who have wanted to support the work in Haiti. SOS Children’s Villages is one of the (heartless?) organisations. “We don’t accept money from companies who works with guns, pornography, tobacco or alcohol”, says […]

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Wine Trend 2010 #9: More protectionism in the EU

This is the trend that we most hop that we will be mistaken on. Over the last few years the EU agricultural policy (the CAP) regarding wine has mad quite a lot of progress towards a more open and market oriented regulation. This is largely thanks to the outgoing agriculture commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel and […]

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“The world’s smartest way to sell alcohol”

Usually, this is a story that would only appear in the Swedish edition of the BKWine Brief but this is so outrageous so we have to share it with everyone. In a recent issue of one of the biggest daily paper the Swedish monopoly retailer of wine and spirits, Systembolaget, run a two page ad. […]

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”Let the children taste wine”

In many places this is a controversial statement, not least in Sweden, our country of origin. But there’s recently been quite some discussion on that theme on the internet. It started with Dr Vino (Tyler Colman) who wrote about his six year old son coming home from school with a pamphlet bunching beer, wine, Marijuana, […]

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AREV wants to go backwards

AREV (l’Assemblée des Régions Européennes Viticoles is some kind of collaboration organisation between some European wine regions. In their latest press release they underline the importance of fighting the EU reform that will abolish planting rights control. Currently (and historically) the European planting rights control means that to be allowed to plant new vines […]

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Wine Politics

Wine Politics By Tyler Colman Publisher: University of California Press Tyler Colman is perhaps better known under the name Dr Vino and is as such one of the most interesting wine bloggers in the US. This book is a result of his PhD dissertation in political science at Northwestern University. The book reads like a […]

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2.3 million euros for indoctrination and propaganda

No, we’re not talking about the French anti-wine campaigns. 2.3 million euro (25 M SEK to be precise) is the budget that the Swedish retail monopoly Systembolaget spends on advertising in a year, according to numbers released at their AGM recently. But don’t get it wrong, they are not making publicity for wine or spirits. […]

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