Important legal notice
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Reform of the EU wine market

Adopted by the Council of Ministers in April 2008 Regulation (EC) 479/2008 thoroughly reorganises the way the EU wine market is managed, in order to:

- ensure EU wine production matches demand

- eliminate wasteful public intervention in EU wine markets

- redirect spending to make European wine more competitive.    

Most of these new rules apply from 1 August 2008  - see Regulation (EC) 555/2008.

CAP Reform: Final stage of EU wine reform to enter into force on 1st August   (also available in bgcsdadeetelesfritlvlthumtnlplptroskslfisv)

The rest of these rules (mainly wine-making practices and labelling) applies from 1 August 2009. The implementing rules for these parts have been published in 2009 - see Commission Regulations (EC) 436/2009, 606/2009 and 607/2009.

Main points of the revised wine CMO

National financial envelopes: redirected distillation subsidies will provide a funding budget for each country so they can adapt measures – promotion outside the EU, innovation, restructuring and modernisation of the production chain, support for green harvesting, crisis management, etc. – to their particular situation, and also choose how to allocate funding to individual vineyards.

Rural Development and environmental protection in wine-producing areas: more help for young wine producers, improved marketing, professional training, compensation for lost revenue due to maintaining landscape / early retirement, etc.

Planting rights: end to the restrictive planting regime at EU level from 1 January 2016 (although some national restrictions may remain until 2018).

Phasing-out of distillation schemes: gradual withdrawal of distillation subsidies:   
- emergency distillation: funding falling from max. 20% to max. 5% of the national funding budget over four years to 2012    
- distillation into alcohol for use in spirits: funding phased out over four years. Payments in the transition period will be replaced by a single flat-rate payment per producer.

Introduction of Single Farm Payment: Decoupled Single Farm Payment to be distributed to wine grape growers at the Member States' discretion and to all growers who grub up their vines.

Grubbing-up: rapidly reduced wine production - mainly through a voluntary withdrawal scheme taking 175 000 ha out of production via decreasing subsidies over three years, to reduce production of uncompetitive wines, cut surpluses and compensate producers by offering them an alternative.   
The EU or individual countries may limit the amount of withdrawals in certain cases, to maintain a minimum regional or national wine-producing area, protect the environment or maintain cultivation in mountainous or hilly areas.

Wine-making practices: responsibility for approving new winemaking practices (or changing existing ones) transferred to the Commission – practices approved by the International Vine and Wine Office (IWO) will be assessed and added to the EU list of approved practices, if appropriate.

Simpler labelling rules: in the interests of producers and consumers – quality will be based on protected geographical indications / designations of origin. Well-established traditional national quality-labelling schemes will be kept, and simplified labelling rules will allow EU wines to be labelled for grape variety and vintage.

lower limits for added sugar and must – with exceptions for particularly unfavourable climatic conditions.

Aid for the use of must: after 4 years, these subsidies will be converted into flat-rate subsidies to wine growers. 

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Commission proposal

Communication from the Commission

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Council Regulation (EC) No 479/2008 of 29 April 2008 on the common organisation of the market in wine, amending Regulations (EC) No 1493/1999, (EC) No 1782/2003, (EC) No 1290/2005, (EC) No 3/2008 and repealing Regulations (EEC) No 2392/86 and (EC) No 1493/1999
available [pdf] in:

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Presentation [pdf]
available in:

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You will find more information on the wine sector in the "Wine" chapter on this website.

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Last update: 11-06-2008