On March 22, a debate on the situation of wine is scheduled at the Council of Agriculture of the European Union

This week, Spain’s Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, will be meeting with the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, in Brussels, Belgium. The European Union’s Agriculture and Fisheries Council has planned a discussion for March 22 on the situation of wine, wherein fourteen countries, including Spain,

Portugal, France and Italy have already expressed the need for additional funds and measures to support the industry because of the COVID-19 crisis, in addition to addressing the topic of tariffs between the European Union and the United States.

This meeting offers hope for new provisions for the wine sector, which has been hit hard by the pandemic due to the closure of restaurants, the collapse of tourism, and the ban on public celebrations.

Last year, the European Union had authorized Spain to use €91,000,000 from the National Wine Support Program, of which €63,000,000 was allocated to Castilla-La Mancha for distillation, storage and green harvesting.[1] The Spanish Association of Small Farmers is now requesting new measures in these three areas, as well as a reduction to the maximum grape yields per hectare, which were set one year ago at 20,000 kg for whites and 18,000 kg for reds. For example, the cooperatives in Castilla-La Mancha are proposing a reduction of five million hectolitres in accordance with EU regulations.

Why are these developments important? If these measures are approved, a considerable amount of bulk wine will be taken out of the market, and as a result, prices will rise. This makes it difficult to make purchasing recommendations right now, because if there is no distillation and the vineyards have good yields, it would be logical for wine prices to drop. However, if a high level of distillation is done, or if distillation becomes mandatory, the opposite will happen.

I have learned of a case of a large winery that purchases bulk wines from Spain, that believes that the price of wine will drop even further, so they are currently purchasing little to no bulk wine.

I am inclined to think that with the support of France, Italy, Portugal and Spain, there will be distillation. In the coming days, we will know more on the direction this development will take.


Pablo Moreno Agronomist Engineer – Chilean Oenologist

Bulk wine broker at www.masvino.ca


[1] Source: El Diario, March 4, 2021