Quality label scheme for English and Welsh sparkling wine

15 October, 2010

A scheme is being established to denote the quality and regional origins of English and Welsh sparkling wines.

It is being introduced as part of the UK’s implementation of the new EU wine labelling regime, which establishes the terms protected designation of origin (PDO) and protected geographical indication (PGI). PDOs and PGIs for still and sparkling wines will begin with wines produced from the 2010 harvest.

The UK has had a quality and regional wine labelling scheme for its still wines since 1992.

To qualify for PDOs and PGIs, wines will have to satisfy strict criteria on quality, character, grape varieties and production location. Wines satisfying the criteria for a PDO will be labelled English or Welsh Quality Wine, while PGI wines will carry English or Welsh Regional Wine on their labels. Producers who opt out of the scheme may use the terms English Wine or Welsh Wine but will be restricted on the use of other labelling information, including vineyard location.

“These schemes will serve to convey the right message to trade and consumer buyers,” said Ian Edwards, chairman of the UK Vineyards Association. “When bottles bear the simple statement English Quality Wine or English Regional Wine, consumers will be assured every measure has been taken to ensure the wine is of good quality and made from grapes grown in England and Wales.”

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