Wine Culture and Information - Volume 17
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  Editorial Issue 76, Summer 2009   
The Italian Wine is Safe. Rose Wine is SavedThe Italian Wine is Safe. Rose Wine is Saved  Contents 
Issue 75, June 2009 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 77, September 2009

The Italian Wine is Safe. Rose Wine is Saved


 This month's editorial will focus on two interesting press releases recently issued by Coldiretti - the most important Italian association of agricultural firms - and which are directly connected to the world of wine, offering interesting ideas for discussion. The first good news issued by Coldiretti is that Italian wine seems to be more safe than the one made in the past. The second one tells us the European Commission has withdrawn the project which would have allowed the production of rose wines by blending white and red wines together. Two good news, with no doubts. The first one is particularly reassuring, at least in its context, if we consider the scandals occurred in the world of Italian wine in the past, as well as supporting in the world the quality of the wine produced in the Bel Paese. Also the second news is a good one, at least it shows - for the first time - the support of Europe in fact of wine quality, not always safeguarded by the European Commission in recent times.


 

 According to what Coldiretti issued in its press releases, all the wine produced in Italy resulted to be completely safe and healthy. This is what has been found in the yearly report of the Italian Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Politics on “Official tests on the residual of chemical products in foods of vegetal origin”. In this report it is in fact found 100% of Italian wine samples contained a quantity of chemical residual lesser than the limits set by law. This certainly is a very good news for all consumers of Italian wine and for their health. If we consider the facts of the last year and concerning Italian wine, a news like that is a very good one. The fact the quantity of residual of chemical substances found in Italian wine are lesser than the ones set by law, emphasizes, first of all, the maturity and conscience of Italian vintners in the choices they make for their vineyards. This means, among the other things, the use of chemical treatments in vines has been limited in favor of more “natural” cultural practices.

 The reduction in the use of chemical treatments in agriculture is also confirmed by a survey done by ISTAT (Italian National Institute of Statistics), in which it is reported a progressive reduction in the use of toxic chemical products, a reduction which has been halved in the last ten years. In this survey can also be found this reduction was in favor of the adoption of eco-compatible cultural techniques. Moreover - according to ISTAT - Italy occupies today the first place in Europe in the adoption of biologic cultural principles, destining to this type of culture more than one million of hectares. The conscience and maturity of agricultural firms, and therefore of firms which are in the wine business, are also confirmed by the trend of the diminution of irregularities found in the last sixteen years. In 1993, 5.6% of the agricultural production was affected by irregularities, in 2007 only 0.9% did not meet the law: a diminution of more than six times. Results like these make the Italian agricultural production - and therefore wine too - to the highest worldwide levels in fact of food safety.

 The awareness and maturity of Italian agricultural firms in the limited use of toxic chemical treatment, is also confirmed by the tests made in other products. The tests have in fact found 99.3% of vegetables was regular, as well as 98.6% of fruits and 98.7% of olive oil. A good, indeed very good, news for the safeguarding of the health of Italians as well as a further warranty abroad for the quality and healthiness of agricultural Italian products. Moreover, a clear sign of maturity and awareness, as well as the return of agricultural firms to the respect of nature which, after having believed to the miracles promised by chemistry, today they are adopting a more sound and respectful cultivation of lands. And the same can be said for wine. Whether in the past the use of chemical products both in vineyard and in cellar was considered normal, today the use of chemical substances is generally adopted only when it is necessary in order to ensure a more stable product and with no faults.

 The other good news is about rose wine. You will probably remember the European Commission was working on a project which would have allowed the production of rose wines by blending white and red wines. A project which would have damaged, for many aspects, the dignity and quality of rose wines, already scarcely considered by consumers who prefer other wine styles. According to this news, the European Commission has withdrawn this project. The news was issued by Coldiretti which also informs about 48 millions of bottles of real rose wine produced with the traditional method have been saved. The traditional method of rose wine consists in exclusively using red berried grapes. The change of opinion of European Commission was also determined by the pressure of Coldiretti - representing and safeguarding Italian producers - emphasizing this law would have uniquely generated confusion among consumers without safeguarding the quality of real rose wine. In fact, the law would have not obliged producers to write in the label the production method, therefore consumer would have not had any chance to truly know what they were about to pour in their glasses.

 The decision made by the European Commission seems to be positive for the future of other decisions they will make about wine. For the first wine Europe has shown a positive interest for the quality of wine, an attitude - we all hope - will always be more and more oriented to the safeguarding and the respect of consumers and honest producers. Everyone will probably remember the past laws issued by the European Commission about wine and being very disputable and certainly not in favor of quality. Since 2006 it is in fact allowed the use of wood chips in the production of wine, which in this case does not contribute to the aging of wine but to a disputable aromatization. Moreover it is already allowed the commercialization of “wines” produced by the fermentation of fruits different from grape, such as raspberry and black currant - products which can already be found in European shops - as well as a law allowing in certain countries the adding of sugar to the must. Finally, it is very likely from the first of August on, they can call wine also a product to which was removed part of the alcohol, the so called dealcoholized wine. The decision made about rose wine however gives us hope that such deplorable decisions like that will not be made by the European Commission in future. For the moment, let's be glad about the fact rose wine is saved. And, of course, for the fact Italian wine is more safe and healthy.

 




   Share this article     Summary of Editorial column Wine Tasting 
  Editorial Issue 76, Summer 2009   
The Italian Wine is Safe. Rose Wine is SavedThe Italian Wine is Safe. Rose Wine is Saved  Contents 
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