Monday, November 28, 2011

Vineyard expansion in Europe? What are they thinking???

It came as a real surprise to me to see this article in the Decanter magazine this morning: "European wine growing regions are battling European Commission plans to allow massive vineyard expansion." Full article here:

After years of pulling off vineyards and converting excessive wine production into ethanol for fuel - The European Union has distilled millions of hectoliters of wine into industrial alcohol because producers in Europe have been making more wine than they can sell - it is hard to believe that the EU wants to go in a total different direction.

The article says: "To boost the wine sector’s competitiveness by reducing production costs, the EU has included an amendment to liberalise planting rights, from January 2016, within proposals for the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) - a policy which one lobbyist said would have 'catastrophic' consequences."

Really? Are they saying that planting vineyards in the Douro Valley in Portugal or in Rioja in Spain (where production costs are very high) is going to help with the competitiveness of the European wine sector by reducing its costs? My gosh! What are they thinking???

Someone said that "the effect of this could be catastrophic". Well, I couldn't agree more, but I would love to hear your thoughts on this.


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