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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Nicolas Belfrage MW & Franco Ziliani

From last month, wine finds itself under a new worldwide authority, whose director is the Italian Federico Castellucci. The Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin has risen from the ashes of the Office International de la Vigne et du Vin, founded in 1924 with a mere eight member states; today there are 48. The new organisation will act as an international forum for the exchange of points of view and for the coming together of positions leading to the adoption of resolutions or of scientific and technical recommendations in the field of wine', all of which is indispensable for the development of international commerce involving producers, commercial operators and consumers'. The principal objective of the OIV is to contribute to the harmonisation of practices and norms in the wine sector in order to improve conditions of production and commercialisation of wine-related products, with the objective of improving methods of protecting the final consumer, taking into account the essentials of the existing systems of member states. Measures will be passed on the basis of a majority vote by the plenary organ of the OIV, the general assembly. However, each state will have the right to delay implementation of general decisions should these be deemed to compromise its national interests.