Wednesday, 8 February 2012

"Organic wine" EU label

While reading EU press releases today I stumbled upon a post introducing new EU rules regarding organic wine (New EU rules for 'Organic Wine' agreed). Apparently, the Standing Committee on Organic Farming (SCOF) had agreed on these new rules and they may supposed to influence production and labelling of wine as of this year. 

Currently, there is no definition in EU of "organic wine". Organic grapes are defined and, therefore, EU wine growers may get a certificate that their grapes are organic and they may label their wines as "wine made from organic grapes". That's not the same as labelling their wines as "organic wine" since this second label covers the whole wine-making process, from grape to wine. For example, sorbic acid and desulfurication will not be allowed and the level of sulphites in organic wine will have to be at least 30-50mg per litre lower than in regular wines. Maximum sulphite level is set at 100mg per litre for red wine and 150 mg/l for white/rose. The new definition is consistent with the organic objective and principles laid down in Council Regulation on organic farming standards (EC 834/2007). It follows also the Wine Common Market Organisation (CMO) regulation 606/2009 on grapevine products and oenological practices.

I found this news interesting since I'm allergic to sulphites and may only drink organic wine. However, from what I heard around me more and more consumers are interested in drinking organic wine - mostly, because the lower sulphites level in wine makes it more likely that you will have a headache-free day the next day. From the EU internal market perspective, this is good news since the EU wine growers will be better able to compete now against wine growers from other continents, who have been able to label their wine as organic for some time now.

More info to be found in the MEMO.

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