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Parliamentary questions
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2 April 2019
Question for written answer E-001616-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra (PPE)

 Subject:  Wine harvest or sugar beet harvest
 Answer in writing 

Sucrose does not form part of ‘fresh grapes’ as defined in Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013, Annex, Part IV, paragraph 4, nor of ‘grape must’, defined as the 10th category of grapevine products under the same Regulation. Sucrose may not be used in the production or manufacture of wine, which is defined as ‘the product obtained exclusively from the […] fermentation of fresh grapes [..] or of grape must’.

In contrast to this, according to the first paragraph of his reply to Question E-004165/2018, Commissioner Hogan considers that the addition of sucrose does fall within the definition of ‘wine’, being as it is a practice authorised in Annex VIII to said Regulation.

Unfavourable weather conditions, which by definition can never be permanent, cannot justify the authorisation of a practice incompatible with the definition of ‘wine’ since there are other practices authorised for the same purpose, which are consistent with that definition.

During the wine harvest, EU wineries are swamped with over 15 million sacks of beet sugar, as if they were harvesting sugar beet instead.

Does the Commission not think that chaptalisation, a practice started more than two centuries ago, should by now be considered obsolete and incompatible with the official definition of ‘wine’ under EC law?

Original language of question: ES 
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