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Why Italians care about their wine

A new regulation to improve the wine sector and safeguard Italian vines

Why Italians care about their wine

Claudia Astarita

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The Italian Parliament has recently approved a new regulation for wine. About 90 articles are now determining the production and commercialization processes of wine in Italy. The regulation is the result of the revision of previous norms regulating wine, which definitely needed to be updated and reviewed in a single consistent document.

The new law was welcomed by the relevant agri-organizations, such as Coldiretti and Cia, appreciating the bureaucratic simplification the new regulation brings along.

Wine business in Italy is worth 14 billion Euros, without counting the 5.5 billion Euros coming from exports. Therefore, an efficient law was essential to regulate this precious sector.

Before the law, Coldiretti declared that wine-producers had to sacrifice at least 100 working days a year to do all the required paperwork, taking time from the producing activities. With the introduction of new simplified rules, this will be only a bad memory.

With regard to checks, they have been simplified as well. All the relevant actors having the task of supervising the vineyards will exchange the data collected, avoiding double-checks and inspections in the same place. All the verifications to wine companies will then have to be registered on the Checks Single Book.

Also, the sanction system has been revisited. Active repentance has been introduced, giving the chance to legitimise formal irregularities by paying a reduced fine, avoiding the risk of administrative sanctions.

New tools to foster a better tracking system will also be introduced. The aim is to provide more and more information to the consumer, also through the label.

Finally, a great normative attention was devoted to vineyards and their protection. In fact, it was suggested that Italian wine and wine producing sites should be included in the national cultural heritage, in order to be protected and promoted. The new law has defined these territories as "indigenous Italian vines", granting an adequate safeguard.

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