Autumn Special 2014

New EU rules for organic wine

Source: European Union

 

New EU rules for “organic wine” have been agreed in the Standing Committee on Organic Farming (SCOF), and will be published in the Official Journal in the coming weeks. With the new regulation, which will apply from the 2012 harvest, organic wine growers will be allowed to use the term “organic wine” on their labels. The labels must also show the EU-organic-logo and the code number of their certifier, and must respect other wine labelling rules. Although there are already rules for “wine made from organic grapes”, these do not cover wine-making practices, the European Union reports. Wine is the one remaining sector not fully covered by the EU rules on organic farming standards under Regulation 834/2007.

After the vote in the SCOF, EU Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural development Dacian Ciolos stated: “I am delighted that we have finally reached agreement on this dossier, as it was important to establish harmonized rules guaranteeing a clear offer to consumers who are more and more interested in organic products. I am pleased that we emerge with rules which make a clear difference between conventional and organic wine – as is the case with other organic products. As a result, consumers can be sure that any “organic wine” will have been produced using stricter production rules.”

The new rules have the advantage of improved transparency and better consumer recognition. They will not only help to facilitate the internal market, but also to strengthen the position of EU organic wines at international level, since many other wine producing countries (USA, Chile, Australia, South Africa) have already established standards for organic wines. With this piece of legislation, the EU organic farming is now complete and covers all agricultural products.

The new regulation establishes a subset of oenological practices and substances for organic wines defined in the Wine Common Market Organisation (CMO) regulation 606/2009. For example, sorbic acid and desulfurication will not be allowed and the level of sulphites in organic wine must be at least 30 - 50 mg per litre lower than their conventional equivalent (depending on the residual sugar content). Other than this subset of specifications, the general wine-making rules defined in the Wine CMO regulation will also apply. As well as these wine-making practices, “organic wine” must of course also be produced using organic grapes – as defined under Regulation 834/2007. More information is available at Europa.eu

 

09.02.2012

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