European Commission Wants To Reform Wine Sector


In a significant departure from the past, The European Commission is adopting plans to reform the European Union’s wine sector. As Jancis Robinson has pointed out, this promises to be an emotionally charged and controversial affair.
The problem is simple. Even though Europe produces some of the finest wines in the world, the consumption of those wines are dropping. New World wines from the southern hemisphere and the US are attracting more attention and more dollars too. To better compete with these wines, the European Commission is going to encourage winemakers to make bolder, stronger wines. Furthermore, the EU is going increase its paltry €14 million promotion and marketing budget.
But the suggested reforms go still deeper. EU’s Agriculture minister, Mariann Fischer Boel, is recommending that the rigid rules around wine making be abolished. She is also suggesting that the over complicated wine labelling system be changed. Whether Europe can swallow these reforms or not remains to be seen. Most recently, the European Commission approved plans for 79 million gallons of French wine and 69 million gallons of Italian wine to be distilled into undrinkable, industrial-grade alcohol simply because they had such an over supply of wine.

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