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Italians rally against EU rosé reform

Italy’s producers have formed an alliance to fight EU proposals which would allow rosé to be made from a mixture of red and white wines.

Opposition to this move has united the Bardolino and Garda Classico rosé associations, who have sent a joint letter to the Italian minister for agriculture, Luca Zaia, and the president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso.

The associations have also put together a 1,500-signature petition objecting to these proposals, collected from producers, politicians, wine journalists and consumers.

Sante Bonomo, president of the Garda Classico consortium, commented that the move would mean “complete humiliation” for both rosé producers and consumers.

The associations’ major objections lie with the prospect of a market flooded with cheaply produced wine, as well as concerns about the impact of the proposed new labelling system.

The consortia are now seeking support from producers in Apulia and Abruzzo in a bid to create a stronger Italian coalition against these reforms.

The EU committee is due to vote on 19 June, subject to approval from the World Trade Organisation. If, as is widely expected, the new regulations are approved, they will become law by 1 August.

Gabriel Savage, 22.04.09

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