Farage hits out at 'bonkers' bureaucrats in Chapel Down wine saga
That's how one South East MEP has
dubbed the EU rules which forbid a Kent winery from calling its
alcoholic grape drink a wine.
Chapel Down vineyard in Tenterden
imported grapes from Argentina intending to create a Kent Malbec
wine for World Malbec Day.
The grapes were fermented and then
matured for nine months in oak, to produce a drink called An
But under EU rules, they have been
told they can only call the tipple a "fruit based alcoholic
Now UKIP MEP for the South East, Nigel
Farage, has written to the European Commission asking them to see
But he claims the rules are there to
stop the big grape producers in Europe facing competition from the
rest of the world.
The UKIP leader said there was "half a
chance" the EU might see sense over Kent's wine quandary.
The company has been forced to give
the bottles away so as not to fall foul of the law. Nigel Farage
says it is an absurd situation.
Mr Farage has invited the winery to
come and set up stall at the European Parliament to put pressure on
Speaking earlier, Chapel Down chief executive Frazer
Thompson said: "This is a chance for fans of English and
Argentinian wine to get their hands on something that is genuinely
"This wine will, quite literally, be impossible to buy. We've
had loads of inquiries from buyers, but I'm afraid that we can't
sell it, only give it away as samples, so we have decided to do
Despite rising tensions between Argentina and Britain over the
Falklands, the link with the Gaucho estate, near Mendoza, came
about when the Argentines were looking for wine makers to
Guy Tresnan, sales and marketing director at Chapel Down, said:
"We went to Mendoza to select the grapes, which were vacuum-sealed
and flown over.
"It was a great opportunity for our winemakers to work with
theirs and vice versa."
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