Fruit wine producer in quandary over bottle size

28 March, 2008

A company which produces English country wines, meads and fruit liqueurs faces a hefty fine because it fails to comply with EU rules on bottle sizes.

A company which produces English country wines, meads and fruit liqueurs is counting the cost after it was ordered to change the size of its bottles because they don’t comply with EU rules.

Jerry Schooler, owner of Lurgashall Winery in West Sussex, is trying to come up with a strategy to avoid a £30,000 bill to ensure he has the right size bottles for his fruit liqueurs after Trading Standards told him the 37.5cl bottles he is using are not permitted.

He said: “It’s crazy. We are fruit liqueur producers, we make honey meads and country wines, we don’t produce wine, so it’s hard to see how this is a problem.

“It’s not only the bottles we have to change, but it’s also the labels, the boxes, the corks we use have to be 2% bigger and we even have to change the bottling machines.

“We are researching and trying to find the best solution so we can continue to produce and sell our products to our customers.”

Schooler, who set up the business 24 years ago, said the problem arose because the global shortage of glass bottles forced him to buy a different size of bottle in January.

He said he is able to sell his 10 different liqueurs in the current-sized bottles until the end of November, but after that will have to sell them in the EU approved 35cl bottles.

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