Low alcohol wine can appeal British ban

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Alcoholic beverage, Food standards agency

Sovio: is appealing its ban in Britain
Sovio: is appealing its ban in Britain
A low alcohol wine producer has won the right to appeal its ban in Britain. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) banned sales of 8% abv Sovio after...

A low alcohol wine producer has won the right to appeal its ban in Britain.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) banned sales of 8% abv Sovio after claiming it breaches European regulations but it has now been granted a Judicial Review.

The Wine Standards Branch of the Agency insists that Sovio infringes European regulations because it is produced using unauthorised technology.

Sovio reduces the product's alcohol content via a method called the Spinning Cone Column.

The technique is legal in France and Spain, where Sovio removes the alcohol, but it is illegal to export it to Britain.

If successful Sovio, based in Farnborough, Hampshire, could claim hundreds of thousands of pounds in damages.

"It's crazy that this product, which is pure undiluted premium wine, and combines total integrity of flavour with much lower alcohol content, is somehow illegal," said Sovio wines chairman Tony Dann.

"The Government is urging the drinks industry to provide a wider range of lower alcohol products, consumers want to drink them and yet the FSA is seemingly trying to kill a product that everyone wants."

A further dispute centres on the labelling of the drink as a wine. Sovio can not call its product wine as it is under 9% abv but it claims Trading Standards had cleared its wine-based descriptor "wine based drink" before the FSA banned that as well. Sovio and Trading Standards would prefer the label "partially de-alcoholised wine" to be used.

Related topics: Wine

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