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Parliamentary questions
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15 April 2020
Question for written answer E-002276/2020
to the Commission
Rule 138
Elena Lizzi (ID)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: French government recognition of natural wines contrary to European law

On 25 March 2020, the globally renowned website ‘Wine Business’ announced that ‘winemakers in France obtained formal recognition from the French authorities with regard to the existence of “natural wines”’.

Current European regulations prohibit the use of the term ‘natural wine’, and worldwide there is no single definition of this small sector, as it is difficult to define ‘natural’. Hence, French authorities decided to bypass the law by creating a new denomination with the name ‘vin méthode nature’, and established a list of criteria and a screening protocol for this new denomination.

Furthermore, producers that decide to use this new denomination will be allowed to put a logo on each bottle with the terms ‘vin méthode nature’.

This initiative could create unfair competition by putting all European wine producers at a competitive disadvantage, and generate confusion among consumers, who could be misled by labels with a wording not recognised at European level.

1. Is the Commission aware of this new French initiative?

2. How does the Commission intend to act against French certification that is misleading and contrary to European law?

3. Does the Commission consider it acceptable that wine can be labelled with the ‘vin méthode nature’ denomination, which was created to bypass European rules?

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