16 September 2011, 09:19 AM
  • Somerset Cider Brandy, a product once threatened with being outlawed, has secured the highest level of EU protection after a long campaign

The decision to grant Somerset Cider Brandy Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) Status puts the product among an elite list of European food and drink products whose identity is officially safeguarded.

The decision is a victory for producers, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) and the Government’s Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), who had worked together to secure protection for Somerset Cider Brandy under the EU’s wine and spirit regulations.

It also marks a personal victory for Julian Temperley, whose Somerset Cider Brandy Company is the largest of three producers in the County. “This is great news for the West Country economy and a tribute to the quality of the product,” he says. “It will help secure the future of traditional orchards which are such an integral and essential feature of the West Country landscape and heritage.”

Somerset Cider Brandy had been under threat, having been omitted from an approved product list by officials in Brussels. There was also pressure from some in Europe to restrict the term ‘brandy’ to products derived from grapes. The WSTA has worked with Mr Temperley and Government officials to overturn the objections.

The organisation’s wine policy director, John Corbett-Milward, says, “We have all worked hard to turn this round and this is a great result. It secures the future of Somerset Cider Brandy and what is a flourishing business in the West Country.”

more like this