EU seeks to find solution to French rose wine

19th March 2009, Comments 0 comments

French winegrowers are upset with the EU’s plans to let producers make rose wine by mixing red and white saying this risks their livelihood.

BRUSSELS – The European Commission said Wednesday it was open to the idea of a distinctive labelling for French rose wine, to dilute a row with Paris over wine made by simply mixing red and white.

The current proposal is to allow EU producers to make wine called "rose" by this simple red-white combination, something already done by New World wine-makers in Australia, South Africa and elsewhere.

French viniculturists, notably in the southern Provence region, denounce the idea, fearing it may lead to thousands of job losses in France and endanger their traditional rose, made by the more costly method of leaving crushed red grapes to soak with macerating white grapes.

"We're discussing with France now whether it's possible to find a solution, it could be a labelling solution," EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer-Boel said.

She gave no detail but one of the solutions being considered is allowing Provence producers to sell their products with a label saying "traditional rose wine" or something similar to distinguish it from the wine mixtures.

"I'm sure we'll manage to find an acceptable way to solve this problem but for me the main task would be to have the same possibilities to wine producers within the EU as outside," said Fischer-Boel.

French Agriculture Minister Michel Barnier has called for a clear distinction to be made.

AFP / Expatica

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