On 6 July the 38th World Congress of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) was opened in Mainz.
On behalf of the Federal Minister of Agriculture Christian Schmidt, Parliamentary State Secretary Peter Bleser joined Minister of Viticulture for Rhineland-Palatinate, Ulrike Höfken, in welcoming approx. 400 scientists from all around the world. Over the next five days they will discuss resolutions in the fields of viticulture and oenology as well as international standards for wine production and marketing.
"Impetus resulting from the World Congress is relevant for the entire world of wine. The rules and standards set by the OIV are of great importance, especially in the context of the internationally expanding trade in wine and wine-based products. In Germany we attach great value to the OIV's work" Schmidt said in respect of the opening ceremony.
The Congress is taking place in Germany for the third time in its 90-year history; the theme this year is "Progress and Responsibility". OIV President Claudia Quini regards the meeting of the worldwide viticulture sector as an opportunity to discuss topics that are relevant for further developing and improving production processes. "All of these topics are extremely important for the future global wine industry," said Quini.
Federal Minister Schmidt particularly emphasised the significance of the German wine market. "We have a viticulture tradition dating back to over 2000 years ago. Today Germany is also an important wine market internationally. In total we are the tenth-largest wine producer in the world. Our standards stand for excellent quality and lead to consumer confidence and high demand. This is what we are working hard to do on a global scale too.
Minister of Viticulture for Rhineland-Palatinate, Ulrike Höfken, welcomes the Congress' choice of sustainable viticulture as its focus. Faced with new pests and different dry and wet periods, our winegrowers have to prepare themselves for the effects of climate change," said Höfken According to her, as Germany's largest wine-growing Land, Rhineland-Palatinate can contribute in developing strategies for adapting to climate change.
Federal Minister Schmidt and Höfken welcomed the amendment to the Wine Act, which was recently passed by the Bundestag. "This will enable us to secure the high quality of German viticulture and facilitates moderate, sustainable growth on the wine market. The increase of 0.3% in the land under wine, based on a principle of "quality not quantity", represents a good compromise," said Schmidt.
The International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) is an intergovernmental organisation, founded in 1924 as the International Wine Office by Spain, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal and Tunisia. Today the OIV has 46 members, including Germany.
The OIV's main task is addressing scientific, technical, economic and legislative issues related to wine and developing the cornerstones of international viticulture policy whilst taking into account international trade and production. The OIV is the main international reference organisation for the wine sector. The OIV World Wine Congress takes place annually and, following the congress in 1999, is now being held for the second time in Mainz.