EXCLUSIVE – The Slow Food-organized ‘Vignerons d’Europe’ meeting of winemakers from all over Europe, organized at the Corum de Montpellier with the patronage of the Languedoc and Roussillon regional authorities and the metropolitan area of Montpellier, came to an end yesterday.
At the end of the proceedings a document was released, drawn up by a group of French, Italian, Slovenian and Portuguese winemakers, to promote a strategic proposal on the role of European vine- and winegrowing on the global market.
In the document, the European vignerons meeting in Montpellier say…
NO to the delocalization of vineyards;
NO to wine musts exported from one country to another — even from one EC country to another — without transparency with regard to their origin: ‘made in ….’ must signify ‘made from vineyards in …’;
NO to subsidies for products earmarked for distillation;
NO to ‘supplements’ to raise the alcohol content of wines with very high yields per hectare at low cost;
YES to explants in areas unsuitable for vinegrowing and vineyards that systematically adopt ‘supplements’ with European subsidies; NO to explants to mountainous and hilly areas suitable for vine growing and important traditional vinegrowing areas;
NO to equivocal labels which fail to state the contents of the bottle; YES to labels containing extra details about origin and winemaking techniques;
YES to European regulations authorizing and organizing the collective expression of terroirs within the framework of denominations of origin for a collective management of a public good through the delimitation of terroirs, the definition of an ethics at the service of terroirs, and the definition of instruments compatible with this ethics.
The vignerons of Europe also assert that market equilibrium is the means and that the end is for vignerons to stay on the land to make wine, to conserve the land itself and to defend the landscape for the joy of the consumer.
The document will be posted on the www.vigneronsdeurope.com tomorrow and for 30 days it will be possible for all the vignerons of Europe to add comments, observations and proposals.
The final document will be sent to the European Agriculture Commissioner Marianne Fischer-Boel and all the members of the European Parliament.