news that the extension to the EU-wide planting ban will not apply to the m.
The permanent exclusion of the UK from restrictions on vineyard planting and the disposal of surplus wine means
English and Welsh
producers will not have to stop planting once production exceeds
3.3 million bottles (25,000 hl), averaged over five years.
The EU Council has ruled
the UK will be exempt from the
ban due to its small contribution to
Mike Roberts, of Sussex-based Ridgeview Wine Estate, applauded the decision and said it would encourage the
development of the UK's wine industry.
Roberts said: "Our recent and current rate of planting will yield a production of over 4 million bottles by 2012 - an increase of over 100 per cent of our present production. The UK is producing and building a demand for what is now recognised as world-class and competitive wines, without any subsidy or market assistance from the EU."
The UK Vineyards Association has worked closely with Defra, the National Farmers Union and MEPs to lobby against the restrictions. Chairman Bob Lindo said: "It shows what can be achieved when we all sing from the same hymn sheet, and we should never underestimate just what has been achieved."