Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.


Published:  23 July, 2008

The Old World's wine laws need to be reformed and its complex offering explained, said speakers at a Harpers' seminar at the Quality Food and Wines Fair in London last week. Wine laws were cited by both David Gleave MW of Liberty Wines and Jolle Marti of the Great Eastern Hotel as one of the major factors holding back Old World producers. In a country such as Italy, these [laws] have been based on a tradition of quantity, not quality,' said Gleave. He considered it absurd' that new developments, such as oak chips, are outlawed in the Old World: These laws need a complete overhaul if France and Italy are to get back on top.' Marti said: We've developed a system that doesn't help producers, due to heavy charges. New World wines often offer better value.' Tim Atkin MW said that the Old World could learn from the simpler presentation of New World wines. Marti agreed that clearer labelling, with information on grape varieties, would preserve the typicity of the wine, while making it simpler for the consumer'. Better promotion was also called for. Terroir needs to be simplified,' said Gleave. We need to push all producers to value and promote their terroir. This is something that the New World is learning and will be using.' Style was another issue. Gleave claimed modern, international-style wines could provide a bridge between the Old and New Worlds, when consumers tired of the latter. Wine sales in the on-trade rose 4% last year (Italy growing above the market), but French wine declined 5%. Enzo Cassini of Zafferano said: You must look at how many New World fusion restaurants there now are, often without sommeliers.' From the audience, Sopexa's Chris Mitchell defended France: There is now a committee for promoting French wine throughout the world. Things are starting to happen; the impetus is there.'