VARIOUS groups of wine makers and grape growers from the balearic islands said yesterday that their inclusion in the new alcohol law from the Health Minister will impede the advertising and promotion of the sector.

The president of The Association of Small Cellars, Antoni Darder explained that the inclusion of wine in the Law “as if is was just another spirit” will hugely affect the marketing of the product, making people “change their outlook on wine.” Darder also said that the association had solicited their complaint to the Balearic Government previously, asking to be excluded from the law, which the Government then promised to pass on to the peninsula.

The president of Asaja Baleares, Biel Company continued that since the sector expressed their concern the Health Minister, Elena Salgado, “was not going to give way.” According to Biel Company, there is no point in including wine in the future law on alcohol “because it is the only drink with autonomous regulation”, which should be motive enough to exclude it. “Youngsters don't drink wine, it's the type of drink people consume at a more advanced age.” The first draft of the new law states that advertising emissions for wine will be allowed in only determined short periods of the day, which will lead to big losses. According to a representative of Asaja, wine promotion always comes with a ‘drink responsably, in moderation' health warning, unlike other beverages.

The Minister of Health's draft for the project “Law on healthy methods for the protection of health and the prevention of underage alcohol drinking”, included wine, a drink which up until now has been regulated by the Vine and Wine Laws. The inclusion in the new law therefore has received much criticism from all areas of the wine sector.

The Reverse Side
Having heard the wine and vinyard's complaints the other side of the coin must be put forward. It must be noted that the new law on advertising is for all types of alcohol, not just wine, who may have been previously regulated by a seperate law in the past but that does not mean they should always be that way.

The Biel Company aforementioned that “wine is not a young persons drink”. That may be true in their opinion and I for one didn't even try wine until a more mature age and it would always be the type of drink that you have responsably, sat at a table eating a meal with family or friends.

The difference perhaps between more British methods of drinking wine, (though our world fame is not for drinking in moderation), and Spanish ones is that youngsters do drink it, it's a fact. Many Brits in Spain are astounded at the price of a sweet tasting Crianza or Rioja. More often than not a third of the price of at home. Here in Spain also, some of the cheaper labels of wine are all that teenagers can afford to buy. To make it more pallitable they mix it with a refreshment. You can even ask for one in bars, a ‘calimocho' is the name for a red wine with ice and cola.

It is these cheaper wines which the government is aiming at. The relatively cheap make Don Simon sells red wine and ‘sangria'in cartons, also they are a huge producer of fruit juices bearing the same name. Therefore a youngster who sees Don Simon fruitjuice and likes it will automatically be drawn towards a wine of the same name. It is that what the government is trying to stop. For that reason it may be better for the vineyards to look at their own marketing policy, before attacking the governments' new ones.

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