Monthly Archives: December 2012

EU High Level Group on wine: maintain the system of planting rights

Last Friday 14th December was held the last meeting of the High Level Group on wine, created by the Commissioner for Agriculture Dacian Cioloş to discuss the theme of planting rights.


The representatives of the 27 Member States participated in the work and also industry experts and observers of the Council, the European Parliament. As expected, the Group has approved its conclusions on the theme of planting rights, including: a support for the idea of ​​maintaining the system of planting rights for all categories of wine (PDO, PGI and wines without geographical indication); it is necessary to put in place a mechanism for the regulation to be dynamic and to create favorable conditions for a balanced development of the sector; the Group proposes a system of “permits” for new installations of grapevine, applicable to all categories of wine. Authorizations should be free, non-transferable and valid for a maximum of three years.

The system should be managed by the Member States, taking into account the recommendations of the professional organizations representing the sector. The permit system should be accompanied by a safeguard mechanism at European level, which sets an annual rate of new plants, with the possibility for States to establish a lower value on the basis of objective criteria. When the sum of permit applications is less than the national thresholds, all authorizations should be granted. In the case of an excess of questions, the criteria for the award, should be established at European level and possibly supplemented by national criteria

The system should be applied for six years. There should also be transitional measures. The conclusions of the group, accompanied by a report will now be submitted to the Council and the European Parliament, engaged in the debate on the reform of the CAP.

Henry Borzi


Marcolini chocolatier opens in Monaco

After opening thirty boutiques throughout the world, the famous Chocolatier Pierre Marcolini, moved to Monaco on the Boulevard des Moulins.


Pierre Marcolini’s commitment in chocolate is total. The belgian chocolatier is internationally renowned and world Champion in pastry, seeking the best “crus”, the best cocoa beans. Marcolini travels the globe to meet himself the farmers. He still offers them a higher price than the market price “to secure the market.”

The Belgian Pierre Marcolini, opened his first store in Brussels in 1995. A decade later, he inaugurated outlets in Paris, London, New York and Kuwait as well as several in Tokyo and numerous ones in Belgium. Pierre Marcoloni is one of the rare chocolatiers roasting his own cocoa beans. For the search of quality and excellence, its artisans and himself are present at all stages of the processing, from the selection of the bean to the creation of chocolates “haute couture”. The secret is the fantastic creativity displayed by this master chocolatier. In his chocolates you can find unusual fruit, such as apple, pear, blackcurrent and melon and also rare ingredients for chocolate such as pepper, chestnut, tonka beans and even patchouli, sandalwood and oak.

Bombons de chocolat, carré, macarons, these are real avant-garde creations, exquisite and refined products.

Henry Borzi

Conegliano Valdobbiadene… the most beloved by italians

Last  December  15th, on the occasion of the presentation of the Annual Report of the “Centro Studi  per il distretto Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore”,  -which crowns the Prosecco sparkling wine as the most beloved by Italians – , some of the leading international wine production techniques were compared on making viticulture in harmony with the environment.


Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore  is the sparkling wine DOCG which is the most beloved by Italians. This can be seen by the high consumption, even last year. On the occasion of the event,  Prosecco producers met with colleagues from the Champagne and was also compared with the entire national wine production and the most interesting examples beyond.
The meeting was focused on environmental sustainability, certainly a topic of great relevance for the entire winemaking industry. Innocente Nardi president of the Consortium argued:  “Once again, the study confirms the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG sparkling wine is the most loved by Italians . Despite the favorable market, we are aware that there is still much to do. The challenges for the future and among these, the commitment to an increasingly environmentally sustainable viticulture, are the first imperative. With this meeting we want to create a dialogue with other international wine in order to compare projects and results “.
During the meeting, new experimental projects carried out by the Consortium were anticipated. They are dedicated to reducing the environmental impact. An interesting investigation carried out by the Centro Studi was presented. Vasco Boatto, project manager, explained in fact the results of research carried out between companies of the denomination.

Dominique Moncomble, Director of Technical Services of the Interprofessional Committee of Champagne Wine presented instead the commitment in this direction by the world’s most famous sparkling wine producers.

Eugenio Pomarici, professor at the  Federico II University of Naples , explained the world’s most interesting examples, from California to New Zealand via South Africa.

Francesco Iacono finally brought the experience as head of one of the most interesting Italian wine, Arcipelago Muratori, describing significant initiatives at national level in the field of sustainability: Tergeo, promoted by the Italian Wine Union. Thanks to these important testimonies, the meeting was one of the most qualified and dedicated to the theme of organized winemaking throughout the country.

Henry Borzi

2012 Spirits summit: Spirit of growth.

“A spirit of tradition, growth and responsibility”, the last 29th November spiritsEUROPE the European association representing the 31 national associations and the interest of the spirits sector held hits annual summit.

The European spirits sector is good for Europe. Approximately 1 million jobs in Europe can be attributed to the production and sale of spirit drinks and the sector contributes €32 billion to European exchequers, and export more than any other agri-food product. There are significant spin-offs for the agricultural sector,  the bottling and packaging industry , the tourism hospitality sectors, media and marketing. The sector is deeply rooted in Europe, many of the products derive their market success from the fact that the products come from specific, named European regions. One thing is quite sure. It is not a sector that will ‘delocalise’ its production or jobs out of Europe. Like others, the spirits industry currently faces challenging economic conditions in Europe, with consumer demand depressed by the crisis and austerity measures imposed, and member States under increasing pressure to raise revenues through higher taxation.

EU largest exporter of spirits

EU is the largest exporter of spirits in the world with €8.5 billion of spirit drinks, leading to a positive trade balance of over €7 billion. 2011 was an exceptional year. The well-being of the sector, and the wealth it generates in Europe, are dependent on open trade with key markets around the world.

Total EU spirits exports hit records of €8.5 billion. While the US remains our largest export market by far (over €2 billion), the growth of the sector depends on the economic vitality of emerging markets, driving an ever-increasing demand for quality branded.

Social responsabilities

While the vast majority of the European population drinks sensibly and moderately, a minority does not, causing harm to themselves, their families and society at large. spiritsEUROPE take his responsibilities seriously. The European association works with a range of stakeholders to address these problems taking in account actions to target harm and actively promote responsible marketing by his industry, and responsible drinking.

The consumption of beverages containing alcohol is culturally very different across Member States. The same is true for drinking patterns, and subsequently for alcohol-related harm. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all solution’ to tackle alcohol related harm in Europe. Nearly all Nordic countries have been applying high taxes, retail monopolies and strict marketing restrictions for many years, compared to other European countries.

EU strategy

Yet, according to “Alcohol in the European Union”, a 2012 joint study from EU/WHO Europe, that region shows a hazardous drinking score more than double that of southern Europe where less restrictive policies are prevalent. Given that these restrictive approaches have been in place for decades, it calls into question the correlation between the use of population-based control measures and changes in hazardous consumption. In 2006, the Commission adopted a “Strategy to support Member States in reducing alcohol-related harm”. Indicators show that the spirit sector is on the right track and strongly supports the extension of the strategy, effective in tackling alcohol misuse, building on voluntary actions and self-regulation.

During the event we had the nice opportunity to interview with Gavin Hewitt President of spiritsEUROPE.

Henry Borzi


Beer Serves Europe, the annual event of the European association of the brewing sector: “Brewers of Europe“, this year brought together  the highest level personalities from the worlds of politics, sports, media, cuisine and brewing. All with the aim this year of zooming in on one of the key areas in which beer is serving Europe – support to grassroots and professional sports.


The ‘Beer Serves Europe’ event took place in Brussels last November as EU leaders across the city discussed how to stimulate growth while slashing public finances. Meanwhile, preparations were underway for the EU’s ‘4th Open Forum on Alcohol and Health’ the next day to discuss how to address alcohol related harm, educate young people and ensure responsible marketing.

Sport is crucial to the well-being of European society stated Michal Krejza the Head of the European Commission’s Sport Unit, in the panel discussion, highlighting the essential role the private sector plays in funding sports.

“Sports are a driver for the economy, jobs and social interaction from grassroots to the professional level, and sponsorships are an important source of revenue that play a major role in the development of sport,” Dr.Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, CEO of the European Professional Football Leagues, said in his keynote.

“If the Eurozone crisis is to be resolved and vital sectors, such as sport and brewing, are to remain competitive and economically viable, then we need to be able to operate in a sustainable business environment. Any move to further limit beer sponsorship is therefore a step in the wrong direction.”

Europe’s brewers, who support some 2 million jobs across the EU, spend 1 billion Euros annually on sponsorships and supporting their communities. 62 percent of this amount goes to community-based events, covering operating costs of sports organisations at a time of government austerity. This compares with only 11.9 percent for major sports events.

“Beer sponsorships provide a lifeline for community events including sports activities, many of which would simply not happen without the support of local brewers and pubs,” said panellist Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, Vice President of the Sport and Recreation Alliance and author of ‘Developing Partnerships in Sport and Leisure’.

Alberto da Ponte, The Brewers’ President closed the event stating: “It’s easy to overlook the European brewing sector’s positive social, cultural and economic impact. We as brewers wish to remain strong supporters of local communities, a fundamental part of Europe’s social fabric and a leader in promoting responsible drinking.” VINEYARDS PAPER also interviewed Sven GATZ, head the belgian brewers association.

Henry Borzi


Recently, I met Lidia MATERA, a passionate female wine grower who loves her terroir, in de IGT “Valle del Crati”



I particularly enjoyed her “ALARICO”, a wine labeled IGT “Valle del Crati” because the Calabrian region was not yet granted a DOC. This wine is captivating, powerful, round  with a fabulous nose. This wine is a dream. It shows the power generated by the Calabrian soil, it is sweet, delicious and radiates across the mouth of the taster. The two used grape sorts are Nerello Capuccio and  Mascalese,  two indigenous varieties of this wine region. Alarico is a wine that has aged for several months in new oak, but the wood is well integrated and produces very balanced flavor.


Alongside this wine, Lidia also uses the  grape sort  Magliocco dolce in the development of another wine, more flexible, lightweight but very fruity: “Cariglio” . It has many qualities and is also delicious.

The cantina can easily be found on the internet.

Please, when you meet Lidia, make an effort to speak with her because her Italian is worth trying: poetic, charming and beautiful.