Winemakers in France are fuming over EU plans to allow producers to make rosé wine by mixing red and white together.
Producers say it is sacrilege to simply blend the two together rather than using the specialist technique of leaving the crushed red grapes to soak with macerating white grapes.
But the European Commission believes that the method is holding back French, Spanish and Italian producers in new markets such as China.
A draft EU plan, that will be put to a final vote on 27 April, would allow wine makers to blend red with a splash of white to create rosé.
French winegrowers now fear the market will be flooded with poor quality rosé.
Rosé has been accepted for several years as an equal to red and white wines. In 2007 decanter.com asked ‘Can rosé ever be a serious wine? Over 80% of respondents answered with an unequivocal ‘yes’.
Xavier de Volontat, president of the AGPV union, which represents the majority of France’s wine producers, told Telegraph.co.uk: ‘The battle for rosé’s nobility risks being lost with a wave of Europe’s magic wand.
‘When you go home tonight, try mixing white wine with a few drops of red wine. It comes out orange and doesn’t taste good. It’s nothing like rosé.’
A spokesman for the European Commission said they were ‘aware of the concerns of some producer regions, such as Provence,’ and were looking at ways to respond to them.
Written by Suzannah Ramsdale