A level playing field for hybrid winemakers?

If anybody is planning to visit Galicia in the coming months and wants to experience the age-old tradition of drinking red country wine from a white porcelain bowl (CUNCA), don’t forget to order a bottle of ‘TINTO BARRANTES’. The European Union, in its infinite wisdom, has banned the growing of the hybrid grape (HDP) used to make this tannin rich, gum staining wine. Those that refused to destroy their vineyards doggedly continue to make their wines for local and not so local (Madrid) consumption, but are not allowed to label the bottles. The local government (XUNTA DE GALICIA) enforces this absurd decree with fundamentalist zeal. However, in Rheinhessen Germany they’ve been selling what appears to be an HDP wine called REGENT since the 1960s. Are German winemakers above the law then? Interestingly, this same beurocratic battle is being fought in the UK, where many of our now 400+ vineyards have planted the French HDP Seyval Blanc, producing quality white wines from it, even though the ever vigilant zealots in Brussels are hell-bent on stamping it out. To the barricades ladies and gentlemen!!


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