With Scotland's Food & Drink Fortnight kicking off on
Saturday, the industry will again gather to celebrate and focus on
the quality of Scottish produce – including Scottish
Chateau Largo in Fife is the brainwave of Christopher Trotter,
who planted vines over four years ago – creating
Scotland's first commercial winery.
The winery is made using the Solaris and Siegerrebe grapes.
Whilst the early vintages do not appear to have been a great
success, Trotter is an ex-chef and food writer determined to ensure
the wine reaches it potential. If other wine lovers wish to follow
suit and plant vines in Scotland, what are the legal
The Wine Regulations 2011 make it an offence to:
- breach the protection of protected designations and protected
geographical indications by practice "liable to mislead the
consumer as to the true origin of the product";
- fail to comply with the provision of the EU regulations at any
time after having received a warning notice;
- make use of a protected name (for example
"Champagne") by marketing comparable products that do not
comply with the product specification or which exploit the
reputation of a designation of origin;
- produce and market wine other than in accordance with the
procedures set out at annex XVa to EC regulation 20071234, which
govern acidification, enrichment and de-acidification. Notably the
UK is one of the countries where it is expressly permitted to add
sugar to wine to make it stronger; and fail to record
acidification, sweetening, bottling, distillation, etc of wine in
the registers that producers must keep.
There is no hiding behind the corporate veil. Any director,
manager or "the person who has consented, connived or been
neglectful" can be guilty of the above-mentioned offences. On
summary conviction the penalty is a fine of up £10,000 and an
unlimited fine upon conviction at indictment level.
Producers in Scotland wishing to create a new winery must tell
the Food Standards Agency (FSA) the identity of the grower; the
location of the vineyard parcel(s); the acreage of the vineyard
parcel(s); and the characteristics of the vines planted there.
The Wine Regulations 2011 are fairly straightforward, but the
underlying regulations applicable outlining protected designations
and protected geographical indications run to several hundred
Farmers and landowners that decide to diversify by producing
wine should be mindful of the regulations. FSA officers have powers
to enter premises at any reasonable time, inspect and access
records to enforce the 2011 regulations. Officers may also issue
enforcement and prohibition notices prohibiting the movement,
marketing or export of a wine product.
Whether global warming increases the potential for a viable
Scottish wine-producing region as good as Bordeaux and Burgundy
certainly remains to be seen. In vino veritas.
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