Quality Wines Produced in Specified Regions


Quality Wines Produced in Specified Regions

Quality Wines Produced in Specified Regions (often abbreviated to QWpsr or simply "quality wines") is an European Union-sponsored protected indication regulating and defining the status of "quality wines" according to production method, management and geographical location. Its original, fundamental role is in differentiating quality wines from table wines, broadly in line with the system traditionally employed by the French government, amended to account for the preferences and methodology of Italian and German growers, among others in the EU.

History

In 1962, shortly after the Treaty of Rome created the European Economic Community (EEC, or "Common Market") a set of rules were drawn up in which the normal common organisation of the market for a type of product - normally limited to a pricing system, rules on intervention and the system for trade with third countries - was extended in several areas in order to accommodate the diverse interests of wine production within the individual member states. The wine sector required regulation of more technical aspects, such as the development of wine-growing potential, wine production techniques, oenological practices and processes, rules on designation and presentation, rules governing the movement and release for consumption of wine products, protection of designations of origin, and so on.

At the time the EEC had only six members, four of which were major wine producers; France, Germany, Italy and Luxembourg. The French initiated Community recognition of their principles which differentiated between "quality wines" and "table wines" in order to standardise the marketing of exported wine. Germany and Luxembourg in particular objected to any barriers to the development of their wine industry, which was geared towards the production of wines with a readily available outlet, nor did they wish to change the practice of chaptalisation (the enrichment of wine by adding sugar) which was foreign to many parts of France and forbidden in Italy. French production was highly regulated, where Italians were proud of the free commercialisation of their wines. Where plantation was strictly regulated in some states, it was practically uncontrolled in others.

The QWpsd classification surmounted these problems, dictating specific treatment for ‘quality wines’, excluding them from classic market management mechanisms such as distillation and storage, while requiring stricter discipline for production and control. Early agreements respected the broad outlines of French national legislation and were acceptable to Italy. Whereas many guiding principles (including the maintenance of traditional practices and distinguishing between categories of wines) continue to apply without any fundamental changes, many, like freedom of plantation and non-application of intervention measures to quality wines, have gradually been amended. At one point, new plantings were banned to prevent over-production, while the same problem (the infamous "wine lakes" of the last few decades) has led to widespread distillation of quality wines being permitted in years of surplus production, known as "crisis distillation". Today, with domestic demand falling and a boom in sales of New World wine, European growers are seeing increasing amounts of quality wines destined to become ethanol and other biofuels. [ [http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/6-8-2006-98624.asp Commission Pulls Plug on Eu Wine Lake ] ] .

Rules and regulations

Quality wines legislation does not specify exactly which wines should be subect to its rules and member states are permitted to regulate their own production in order to preserve traditional practices. In fact the very concept of QWpsr differs between northern and southern Europe; countries like Germany are regulated by quality first and little importance is given to geographical location, while other growers are regulated by geographical considerations first, as is the case with the the Spanish "Denominación de Origen" regulations. As a consequence, where German wines are automatically classified as QWpsr, French, Italian and Spanish wines only attain that status after being officially approved.

The current QWpsr regulations, last modified in 2000, stipulate the following areas in which member states must make specific provisions:

* lists of suitable vine varieties
* details of required wine-growing methods
* the regulation of enrichment and sweetening practices
* stipulation of a minimum natural alcoholic strength
* maximum yield by hectare
* analysis of wines and assessment of organoleptic characteristics
* ensuring that grape production, wine making and development are carried out within the specified region
* the circumstances under which quality wine may be downgraded to table wine status. [ [http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/markets/wine/studies/rep_cmo2006_en.pdf Working paper, February 2006, Wine, Common Market Organisation ] ]

See also

Protected designation of origin - EU legislation against non-genuine produce

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Spanish wine regions — DO DOCa wine regions of Spain …   Wikipedia

  • Protected Geographical Status — Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG) are geographical indications, or more precisely regimes within the Protected Geographical Status (PGS) framework [… …   Wikipedia

  • Denominación de Origen — See also: Protected designation of origin Denominación de Origen (Designation of Origin DO) is part of a regulatory classification system primarily for Spanish wines (similar to the French appellations) but also for other foodstuffs like honey,… …   Wikipedia

  • Cyprus wine — The Cypriot wine industry ranks 37th in the world in terms of total production quantity (37,500 tonnes). [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Wine production by country | date=2005 | publisher=Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) | …   Wikipedia

  • Cypriot wine — The Cypriot wine industry ranks 37th in the world in terms of total production quantity (37,500 tonnes).,[1] and much higher on a per capita basis. Although, chronologically, Cyprus belongs to the old world of wine producing countries, the… …   Wikipedia

  • Slovenian wine — is wine from the Central European country of Slovenia. Viticulture and winemaking has existed in this region since the time of the Celts and Illyrians tribes, long before the Romans would introduce winemaking to the lands of France, Spain and… …   Wikipedia

  • Dão DOC — Dão (wine region) Official name Dão Lafões Type Denominação de Origem Controlada …   Wikipedia

  • Table wine — In the United States, table wine is used as a legal definition to differentiate standard wine from stronger (higher alcohol content) fortified wine or sparkling wine [ [http://www.eosvintage.com/glossary.html EOS Wine Glossary ] ] .In the… …   Wikipedia

  • Chaves wine — Chaves is a Portuguese wine region centered around the town of Chaves in the Trás os Montes e Alto Douro region. The region was initially a separate Indicação de Proveniencia Regulamentada (IPR) region, but in 2006, it became one of three… …   Wikipedia

  • Cova da Beira wine — Cova da Beira is a Portuguese wine region centered around the Cova da Beira region between the Dão and Vinho Verde DOCs in the wider Beiras VR wine region. Cova da Beira was initially a separate Indicação de Proveniencia Regulamentada (IPR)… …   Wikipedia