Lords publish views on EU wine reform

23 July, 2007

The House of Lords’ European Committee has published its first thoughts on the European Commission’s wine reform plans.

The interim report, published today, lists the committee’s conclusions in response to the proposals put forward by the commission on July 4.

Among the proposals backed by the committee are relaxations in the current regulations on wine labelling and the end of crisis distillation.

The report also says the committee supports proposals to set aside funds for marketing to boost sales of EU wines as long as it is targeted “at consumers within as well as outside the community.”

However, the committee said it was against plans to ban chaptalisation because it would “unnecessarily increase production costs” and against extending the planting ban until 2013 - both proposals which could have negative effects on the English wine industry.

The committee’s final report will be published in October. It will then be submitted to the commission who will consider it alongside reports from other EU member states before making a final decision.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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