I really love Catavino – it’s such an informative and innovative source of information on Spanish & Portuguese wines. The food of the region is key, but it’s just as vital to know about the great wines available too. This is the place to find out!
Jose Pizzaro http://www.josepizarro.com

European Union Reforms

Finally, not only some sane news, but also an idea that could actually help the sales of European wines around the globe. Unlike New World countries that place the varietal clearly on the label, Old World countries may place the wine region, village or producer on the label. The result has been disastrous for wine sales in European countries because the simplicity of the New World labeling has led to increased sales. The brightside being that, “EU Commissioner Calls for Simple Wine Labels“. According to Mariann Fischer Boel, the EU Farmer Commissioner, “…the consumer wants simple, clear labeling…” – a sentiment that any wine retailer, exporter or wine maker has known for years. She goes on to state that the consumer is asking for a glass or bottle of a specific varietal, not by the producer or region. Therefore, change is inevitable if Europe wants to sell more wine. The hitch to this problem is that not only is the EU Farmer Commissioner meddling with major cultural ties to their labeling regulations, but she is also biting at the heels of major reforms already hitting Europe like emergency distillation and government subsities to farmers. Fortunately, Spain has not overproduced and needed emergency distillation. We can only hope that Mariann can get the vines ripped up and new labels placed on bottles, but due to other issues within the reform like chapitalization, it appears that the battle to make this reform a reality is still a long shot!

  • Jack

    Adding the varietal would be a tremendous boost in sales. (Allowing any bottle shape/color would help a region like Alsace, too.) But saying the consumer doesn't want to know who the producer of a wine is so, very, very wrong. I doubt we'll ever see true wine label reform in Europe. Instead, they'll argue about it forever and while watching others come in take a much bigger chunk of thier market.

  • Ryan

    I don't think she's saying customers don't want to know the producer, but rather that most people don't ask for a wine by producer, but rather varietal or region. When I sold wines, varietal was first, then region and then winemaker, and that's only when I hand sold wine. Your right putting varietal on the label would help tremendously.

  • http://www.ForkandBottle.com Jack

    Adding the varietal would be a tremendous boost in sales. (Allowing any bottle shape/color would help a region like Alsace, too.)

    But saying the consumer doesn’t want to know who the producer of a wine is so, very, very wrong.

    I doubt we’ll ever see true wine label reform in Europe. Instead, they’ll argue about it forever and while watching others come in take a much bigger chunk of thier market.

  • http://www.catavino.net Ryan

    I don’t think she’s saying customers don’t want to know the producer, but rather that most people don’t ask for a wine by producer, but rather varietal or region. When I sold wines, varietal was first, then region and then winemaker, and that’s only when I hand sold wine.
    Your right putting varietal on the label would help tremendously.