UK escapes EU vineyard restrictions

11 January, 2008

UK wine producers have welcomed

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

wine production.

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."

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