EU abandons plan to allow blended rose wine

The war of the rosés is over. The European Commission announced today that it had abandoned its plans to allow European winemakers to make cheap rosé wine by mixing red and white wines together.

The announcement follows a rearguard action by traditional producers in France and Italy who feared that their growing market for pink wine would be flooded by cheap imitations. The European agriculture commissioner, Mariann Fischer Boel, issued a statement saying that she had scrapped plans to lift restrictions on the way that rosé wine is made in the European Union.

“It is important to heed our producers when they are worried about changes in regulations,” she said. “It became clear in recent weeks that the majority in the wine industry believed that ending the ban on blending of wines would damage the image of traditional rosé.”

France accounts for nearly 30 per cent of rosé wine production worldwide and today Agriculture Minister Michel Barnier hailed the EU decision as a victory for his own efforts to “convince the Commission to … defend our culinary way of life”.

In fact, the French government initially approved the European Commission plan earlier this year. Wine producers in some parts of France, where red and white wine is in permanent surplus, wanted to break into the thriving rosé market.

When rosé producers in Provence and the Loire valley complained, Paris pressed for a compromise which would allow real rosé wines to be labelled as “traditional” or “authentic”.

This also infuriated the rosé producers. The booming new market for chilled rosé wine is largely a market amongst young people, they said. Labelling their wine “traditional” would give them a fuddy-duddy image.

The decision by Brussels to drop the plan was greeted with delight by rosé producers today. Xavier de Volontat, president of the French wine producers association, said: “We are relieved that Brussels has agreed to defend wine-making expertise and not commercial considerations.”

Traditional rosé wine is made in two ways and sometimes by blending wine produced by both methods. Red grapes and their skins are macerated, or fermented, for a shorter time than usual, producing a lighter coloured juice. Alternatively, immature red wine is “bled” and the liquid which is siphoned off goes on to become rosé.

The blending of white and red wines to create rosé is permitted in Australia, the US and South Africa. Imports of this blended rosé are permitted by the EU.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Guru Careers: MI Developer

    £35 - 45k: Guru Careers: An MI Developer is needed to join the leading provide...

    Recruitment Genius: Fitness Manager

    £20000 - £22500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leisure organisation manag...

    Recruitment Genius: Visitor Experience Manager

    £25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Delivering an inspiring, engagi...

    Recruitment Genius: Learning Team Administrator

    £17500 - £20500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are looking for a great te...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
    Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

    Confessions of a former PR man

    The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

    Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

    Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
    London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

    The mother of all goodbyes

    Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
    Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

    Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

    The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
    Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions