Apple wine producers furious at EU proposal to remove ‘wine’ from their product name

  • Monday 5 November 2007

Apple wine producers from the western German state of Hessen are furious with European Union proposals that would remove the word ‘wine’ from their traditionally fermented apple juice drink, because it is not derived from grapes.

‘We will fight Brussels with all cannons,’ apple wine cooperative director Jürgen H. Krenzer told decanter.com. ‘Since the early 19th century, when phylloxera ravaged vines, we have been making apple wine in Hessen.’

Krenzer, who supervises seven producers of the Hessische Wirtshaus Kelterer cooperative said that the EU name change would not pose problems for the state but would cause confusion abroad.

Although the tart and sometimes fizzy cider-like beverage is known by other names including Schoppe or Äppelwoi, the names are not widely recognised in export markets such as the UK and Japan.

As reported in the Maerkische Allgemeine, Hessen state governor Roland Koch is challenging the ruling, calling the proposals ‘nonsense’ in a letter to EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel.

‘I am furious,’ he wrote. ‘This is a completely unnecessary, unacceptable and a harmful ruling for Europe.’

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