20th January 2021

The introduction of a climatic reserve of wine at a standstill

Creating a wine reserve for a lean year: the process has still not been completed in Valais, for reasons of federal legal basis. The Interprofession de la Vigne et du Vin du Valais is waiting for a solution at national level.

The modest grape harvest in 2020 sounds like a wake-up call: the Valais urgently needs a climate reserve. The mechanism consists of keeping a percentage of a large harvest, outside the authorised AOC quota, to be reinjected in a less successful year.

Already a year ago, the IVV, the Interprofession de la Vigne et du Vin du Valais (Valais Vine and Wine Interprofession), was in favour of this idea, but at present the dossier is at a standstill. What we know is that the solution will in any case not come at cantonal level. During the past year, steps have been taken by the IVV to amend the legislation in this direction, but the federal regulations do not allow it. “A legal framework is missing. The law on agriculture does not allow the cantons to increase their AOC quota,” explains Frédéric Borloz, President of the Swiss Winegrowers’ Federation.

Towards a national solution

As all the wine-producing cantons share the same difficulties, a solution is now being considered at national level. A working group led by Frédéric Borloz has been set up within the Interprofession of Vine and Wine Switzerland. At this stage, the reflection work has been completed and a dossier has been submitted to the OFAG, the Federal Office for Agriculture. However, here too we are at a dead end: “We had hoped to take advantage of the 2022 agricultural policy to establish this climate reserve. It was supposed to be presented to the federal chambers these days, but unfortunately it has been suspended. I don’t have the solution today,” admits Frédéric Borloz.

The risk of losing markets

Meanwhile, the wine-growing community is getting impatient. For IVV President Yvan Aymon, answers are needed, and quickly. Without this climatic reserve, winegrowers fear losing markets to foreign wines. “The last harvest was the lowest in the last decade, if we disregard the frost in 2017. They remind us that we absolutely need a tool to balance marketing from one year to the next. An observation shared by Frédéric Borloz. Find their opinion below.

The president of the IVV hopes that an arrangement can be found at the national level for the next vintage.

By Estelle Daven, PR Journalist.

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