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Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Grape Vine: News About Wine

French May Try to Block EU Wine Reforms: The European Union is ready to institute several measures that face objections from the French wine industry. EU lawmakers are considering elimination of subsidies for pulling out vines, so-called crisis distillation programs and grants for winemakers retiring from the industry.

The EU says the programs cost too much, do little to improve quality and have not had an impact on the wine glut in several nations. France, Italy and Spain, the largest EU wine producers, receive about 90 percent of the subsidy payments. Changes to the laws would have an impact on the 2008 vintage.

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NFL Takes the Tiger Out of the Fermentation Tanks: Jungle Juice Wine maker Elk Creek Vineyards has found out just how many lawyers the National Football League has on its staff. Saying that the orange and black stripes on the label infringed on the trademarks of the Cincinnati Bengals the NFL sent the winery a cease and desist letter. Elk Creek has stopped making the wine.

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Global Warming?: Are increasing temperatures being caused by man or is it a natural climate cycle? Some believe that the revival in the British winery business suggests it is a natural phenomenon. There are about 400 vineyards in Britain today, where it has been too cool to grow wine producing grapes properly for about 700 years. However, about 2,000 years ago during a period known as the Roman Warming and 1,000 years ago during the Medieval Warming, grapes for wine did grow in the British Isles.

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New Zealand Fallout: As a result over the controversy involving the difference between the Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc entered for competitions and the wine sold to consumers, the winery has withdrawn its 2006 sauvignon blanc from competitions and returned the medals it won with the wine. Brent Marris, Wither Hills winemaker, also resigned as judging chairman for the Air New Zealand wine awards.

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