Following recommendations made by the EU High Level Group on Wine in December 2012, the European Commission has agreed, as part of the reforms to the Common Agriculture Policy, that restrictions on vine planting would be replaced with a new system of ‘authorisations’.
The current restrictions expire at the end of 2015, but it has been agreed that from 2016 a system of authorisations for new vine planting will be introduced, with growth limited to 1 per cent per year. This will be managed by the Member States.
Meanwhile, outside the EU there are initiatives underway to enhance the wine business in areas such as the Asia-Pacific rim.
In November the Wine Institute – a body representing California’s wine industry – reported that wine regulators from 21 governments gathered to look at ways to expand Pacific Rim wine trade by streamlining regulatory requirements.
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Wine Regulatory Forum’s 2013 Technical Workshop included discussions on good practices in wine certification, analysis and winemaking in the region. Taking part were participants from countries such as Argentina, Brazil, China, Georgia, India, Hong Kong, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand and Uruguay.
According to the Wine Institute, wine consumption in the 21 Apec countries more than doubled between 1990 and 2012, while the value of Apec wine trade more than tripled, increasing from $7bn in 2000 to $23bn in 2012.
Robert P Koch, president and chief executive of the Wine Institute, notes: “The focus on eliminating burdensome and duplicative regulations will significantly help reduce the costs of cross-border wine trade, stimulate demand, and increase US wine exports to this important region.”
It is clear that in spite of traditional preconceptions, wine production and the future of the industry is not based solely on the fate of ‘Old World’ countries or even the ‘New World’ nations, but is instead – like other investment markets – partly reliant on the fortunes of emerging markets.