Wine news continues to be marked in this May by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The European Commission published on the 4th of May a package of exceptional measures announced on the 22nd of April, notably to help the wine sector. On the 2nd of June, the Agriculture Committee of the EP have rejected one of related delegated act (considering these measures  to not enough ambitious) to put pressure to the European Commission to increase the level of flexibility. 

France and Italy announced some national measures to further support the wine sector as well.

05/04 Commission adopts package of measures to further support the agri-food sectorincluding wine

The Commission published a package of measure to  support the agricultural and food sectors most affected by the coronavirus crisis. Among other measures, the Commission will allow flexibility in the implementation of market support programmes for wine, crisis distillation and storage, all measures to be financed by the 2020 budget allocated to national programmes.

05/06 The French wine sector demands a 500 million euros aid plan

The French wine sector estimates that it needs “at least 500 million euros” to meet the combined challenges of the coronavirus crisis, U.S. taxes and the drop in overall consumption of wine in the European Union.

05/08 European Commission seeks feedback on promotion policy for agri-food products

The European Commission launched a public consultation on the European Union’s promotion policy for agricultural and food products, which aims to gather feedback from citizens and stakeholders on the effectiveness, efficiency, and relevance of the current measures.Feedback period: from 08 May 2020 – to 11 September 2020

05/12 Flavonoid-Rich Diet May Reduce Alzheimer’s Risk

A new study from Tufts University (Massachusetts, U.S.) found that diets rich in berries and red wine could reduce the risk of the degenerative disease.

05/12 European Wine Industry sets glass recycling goal 

The Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV) has joined a Europe-wide group aiming to have a 90% glass recycling rate by 2030. Members of this group are: European Federation of Glass Recyclers (FERVER), the Extended Producer Responsibility Alliance (EXPRA), UNESDA Soft Drinks Europe, Municipal Waste Europe (MWE), Eurocities, Spirits Europe and ACR+.

05/12 France announces €140M crisis wine distillation scheme  

The French government has announced a €140 million scheme, which could see two million hectolitres of wine distilled at an average price of 70 euros per hectolitre.

05/13 Wine consumption grows considerably in Spain and Europe during confinement

According to a study by the University of Zaragoza on the behavior of European wine consumers after more than a month of confinement,the frequency of wine consumption has increased considerably during the confinement in Spain as well as in the rest of Europe, but not its sales, which have decreased, as well as the average outlay per bottle.

05/14 Drinking wine is a lockdown treat in U.S. and in UK, says survey

New research suggests that US and UK wine lovers have indulged more often during the coronavirus lockdown and plan to continue doing so, although British in particular have preferred cheaper bottles.

05/15 Italy – Relaunch Decree: for wine 150 million euros, total agriculture at 1.15 billion euros

The Italian Relaunch Decree, which allocates 55 billion euros to support businesses and workers, also provides important measures for the agricultural sector for a total of 1.15 billion euros allocated. For wine, 50 million euros are foreseen for distillation, and 100 million euros for the green harvest.

05/15 Wine Paris and Vinexpo Paris open registration for 2021  

Vinexpo Paris and Wine Paris were held jointly from 10-12 February 2020 at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, with 2,800 exhibitors and 30,000 trade members. Next year, the show will return to Paris 15-17 February.

05/20 Brussels unveils its strategies for biodiversity and food

Halving the use of pesticides, promoting organic farming, placing almost a third of the EU’s land and seas under protection: the European Commission unveiled its Biodiversity and Farm to Fork Strategies on May 20.

05/21 Prosecco DOC Consortium announces production of Prosecco DOC Rosé has been approved

The Prosecco DOC Consortium announces that the proposal to amend the disciplinary rules for the production of Prosecco DOC, which includes the introduction of Prosecco DOC Rosé, was unanimously approved by the Italian Ministry of Agricultural.

05/27 Spanish wine exports grow, despite the pandemic

According to the latest OeMv (Observatorio español del mercado del vino) report. In the month of March 2020, the turnover of Spanish wine exports grew by 0.6%, to 217.9 million euros, thanks to an increase in the average price of 4.4%, to € 1.35 /liter.

05/27 Spain – Wineries and Designations of Origin share the decision of the European Parliament to ask for more support from the Commission for the wine sector

The Spanish Wine Federation (FEV) and the Spanish Conference of Wine Regulatory Councils (CECRV) have shown their satisfaction in objection procedure launched by the Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament on the Commission delegated act on wine sector.

05/29 The French Government announces a new support program for the wine sector

The French Government announced 30 million euros to support wine sector in addition to the 140 million announced on May 1. 

Measures include: opening of a private storage aid measure in the amount of € 15M for 2Mhl complementary to crisis distillation; an increase in the crisis distillation envelope by 5 million euros for purchase prices set at € 78 / hl for PDO / PGI wines and to € 58 / hl for the others; aid to distilleries up to 40 € / hlap for a total envelope of 10M €.

05/29 Viticulture: a recovery plan announced by Occitanie Region and the profession

A recovery plan of 14 million euros for viticulture, hard hit by the health crisis linked to the new coronavirus, was announced on May 29 by the president of the Occitania region.

05/31 Italian wines: expected drop of 20 to 25% in sales this year

The wine sector in Italy, the world’s largest producer by volume, is likely to record a drop in turnover of 20 to 25% this year due to the consequences of the coronavirus epidemic, according to an estimate from the study center from Mediobanca bank published on Tuesday. This would represent a drop in turnover of around 2 billion euros.

06/02 British vineyards hit by Covid crisis

Three-quarters of UK vineyards expect a significant fall in turnover as a result of the crisis, with none expecting turnover to rise. On average, British winemakers expect their revenues to be slashed by 52%.

06/04 MEPs threaten to sink unambitious COVID-19 wine package

Lawmakers in the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee have turned down a section of an aid package proposed by the Commission for wine, fruit and vegetable producers, as it was not ambitious enough to cope with disruption caused by the pandemic. Now, this decision will be confirmed or not by the EP plenary in July, depending on the willingness of the Commission to add some new measures increasing the relevance of the package. 

However, the Comagri has made clear that distillation is indeed a much needed measure to avoid an unbalanced EU wine market.