Allegrini 2024

Alcohol-free wine: Government working towards “clear regulations on production and trade”

The Undersecretary of Agriculture, Luigi D’Eramo, said, “We are not against the drink, but rather calling it “wine”. We are working on the rules”
Alcohol - free wine: Government working towards “clear regulations on production and trade

This year, the topic of alcohol-free wines has triggered a heated debate among people who refuse to call them wines, people who see them as a threat or a passing fancy, and people who also see them as an opportunity, or, at least, as a phenomenon on the market that is gaining space anyway, and therefore must necessarily be dealt with. Italy is moving on the topic at the Institutional as well as the level of the regulation. “The Ministry has long been engaged in developing a clear and effective regulation on the production and marketing of alcohol - free and partially alcohol - free wines”, Luigi D’Eramo, Undersecretary for Agriculture, Food Sovereignty and Forests, said during an interview regarding this issue, requiring an immediate answer, at the Agriculture Commission of the Chamber of Deputies. In addition, he mentioned that the new community rules allow the production of wines with low or no alcohol content. And since, as is the usual procedure, the European regulation must be followed by the Internal implementing legislation, “two working groups have been set up”, D'Eramo specified, “to identify which changes to introduce to the current sector legislation to allow the professionals in the sector to have coherent and common rules. At the end of this fundamental phase of comparison, we will define the most appropriate initiatives to be dealt with in order to make the most of an extremely important production chain for Made in Italy, and not only in the agri-food sector”.
In line with the concept of food sovereignty, Minister Lollobrigida also spoke on the subject of alcohol - free wine at question time, as D’Eramo had mentioned, contesting its inclusion in the sphere of what we commonly call “wine”, which is, instead, the result of a millenary tradition. “We are not opposed to the drink itself”, Undersecretary D'Eramo stated, “but rather to attributing it the denomination of “wine”.
In any case, the procedure for regulating alcohol-free wine in Italy has begun. In the meantime, we must keep in mind that the European wine CMO annually allocates 324 million euros to the wine sector, which are designated to finance restructuring and conversion of vineyards, investments, promotion on third country markets, distillation of by-products and green harvesting. At the moment, D’Eramo concluded, “application rules of two of the most strategic interventions have been defined; namely, reconversion and investments. While the ruling on distillation of by-products will be examined in the technical section on December 22nd”.

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