Wednesday, March 26, 2008

We Don't Like Your Bottles.

A winemaker will have to spend £30,000 to change over his bottling plant because it doesn't conform with EU regulations.

An award-winning winemaker whose wares are sold at the royal palaces is facing a £30,000 bill after European bureaucrats ruled that he was using the wrong-shaped bottles.

Jerry Schooler, who sells 400,000 bottles of fruit wines and mead a year, has been threatened with prosecution over his determination to use traditional measurements.

The proprietor of the Lurgashall Winery in West Sussex, has been told to halt the sale of beverages such as mead, silver birch wine and bramble liqueur in 75cl and 37.5cl bottles. If he continues to sell them, he could be taken to court under a new EU directive that permits the sale of such products in 70cl, 50cl or 35cl measures only.

The threat from trading standards has concerned Mr Schooler, whose fruit wines and liqueurs have been produced for 24 years and are sold in royal establishments such as Hampton Court and the Tower of London.

Mr Schooler now faces costs of about £30,000 to change his production line. “We are going to have to change all our bottling, the labels, machinery, boxes and maybe the corks as well and it is going to cost me thousands to do it,” he said.

“This has just been imposed on us and all we can do is go along with it. We fly the Union Jack and the cross of St George outside the winery and we are very pleased to do it, but sometimes life is made very difficult. I don’t think I shall be flying the EU flag.”

The faceless bureaucrat is always the worst sort of fascist.

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