This consultation was on proposals regarding a definition for ice wine and changes to permitted oenological methods.
The first proposal is to amend retained EU law (REUL) relating to the marketing of wine to introduce rules that will regulate how products marketed as "ice wine" must be produced, which will include a definition of ice wine.
The second proposal is to amend REUL to update the lists of approved oenological processes, practices and restrictions that can be used to produce wine in GB.
Ice wine production
Ice wine is produced in certain colder regions of the world e.g. Canada, Germany etc. where grapes are allowed to freeze naturally on the vine. It is a niche product that is only produced in very small quantities. There is no ice wine production in Scotland or the UK.
In line with UK Government proposals for England and Wales, the Scottish Government consulted on a proposal to amend REUL to introduce rules that will govern how products marketed as 'ice wine' must be produced. The proposed new regulations will mean products could only be marketed as 'ice wine' if they have been produced from grapes harvested when frozen on the vine. Such a definition will ensure consumers can identify ice wine products that are made according to specified criteria that apply to its production.
The proposals will enable compliance with international obligations, including the future accession of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) agreement.
We propose the following specification for ice wine: 'Wine may be labelled as icewine, ice wine, ice-wine, or a similar variation of these terms, only if such wine is made exclusively from grapes harvested while naturally frozen on the vine.'
New approved oenological practices
REUL sets out details of the oenological practices, processes and restrictions that can be used to produce wine in GB. In 2021, GB joined the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV). Its recommendations form the basis of domestic, EU and many third countries' wine production rules. Compliance with this in turn forms the basis of the quality standards required of wine imported into Great Britain.
The OIV adds or removes practices from its recommendations following a 7-step scientific scrutiny process into which GB, EU and other world experts feed. In order to be adopted, the resolution must be approved on a consensual basis; any objection results in the practice falling back to a previous stage for further consideration or development.
The proposed oenological changes are to amend Regulation (EU) 2019/934 to update the lists in the Annexes of approved oenological processes, practices and restrictions that can be used to produce wine in GB. This is to reflect updates to the OIV's list of approved methods. This will ensure that our wine producers have access to the latest technological developments and winemaking practices. UK Government are intending to make the same changes for England and Wales.
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