US State Secretary John Kerry has snubbed a ministerial meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Ukraine, reportedly to show disapproval for the country’s recent U-turn toward Russia. Instead, Kerry paid a lightning visit to Moldova, which withstood Russian pressure and initialled an association agreement with the EU.
Russia yesterday (10 September) announced a ban on imports of Moldovan wines and spirits, saying they contained impurities, a move certain to be seen in the small ex-Soviet republic as retaliation for its drive to expand ties with the European Union.
In a few remote corners of China, a world away from Beijing's allegations of European wine dumping, makers of such lofty French brands as Chateau Lafite-Rothschild and Dom Perignon champagne are investing millions of dollars to produce vintages they hope will put Chinese wine on the world map.
China has agreed to discuss dropping its inquiry into whether Europe is dumping wine, the EU's trade chief said on Monday (29 July), after EU and Chinese officials made a deal to avoid tariffs on solar panels from China.
Escalated tensions between the European Union and China over solar panel tariffs is not going to cause a trade war. These disputes are short-lived, even if they are expected to continue in the coming years, explains George Friedman.
The French have long had a reputation for drinking in moderation. However, a new report states that the reputation is misleading and attributes 49,000 premature deaths per year - or 134 every day - to alcohol-related diseases.
A coalition of grape growers, farm groups and major wine-producing countries appear to have won concessions to European Commission proposals for liberalising vine planting rights that are due to expire by 2016.
Grape growers are lining up support from EU national governments and the European Parliament to protect limits on vine planting that are due to expire by 2016, a liberalisation move they claim will destroy one of Europe’s premier industries.
A study by the European Pesticides Action Network (PAN) reveals that wines on sale in the EU may contain residues of up to 10 different pesticides potentially harmful to human health. But manufacturers argue that the quantities are so tiny that drinking wine poses no health risk.
European wine producers have deplored the growing tendency to reduce wine to a simple alcoholic drink, consumed in vast quantities with no appreciation of the product. They are launching a programme to help promote the cultural dimension of wine and contribute to the EU goal of reducing alcohol abuse.
After three days of negotiations, agriculture ministers have passed, on 19 December, a reform package for the EU's wine sector which waters down the major overhaul that Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel was planning. Following pressure form Italy and France, fewer vineyards will be scrapped and the surplus will contiune to be distilled into alcohol.
The Parliament's Agriculture Committee has adopted a report on the Commission's proposed overhaul of the European wine sector, proposing a compromise on many of the draft's most disputed measures, including the grubbing-up of vines and designations of origin and labelling.