On the occasion of the Informal Council in Mainz, Federal Minister of Agriculture Horst Seehofer, as presiding Council President, insisted on presenting a gift of lasting value to his EU
colleagues in the Council: a genuine vine.

Each minister received a document to commemorate the gift of the vines. The document contains the details of the gift. The vines are located in the Rheingau region, on the wine estate of a
family enterprise that has already received an array of awards for the quality of its wines. The gift entitles the ministers to enter the vineyard at any time and to visit their vines. In order
to save them the effort of harvesting the grapes themselves, the ministers will be sent a bottle of wine by post each year as a share of the harvest. The vine also bears a plaque engraved with
the name of the person to whom it was given. The rights relating to the vine are contained in a document presented in person to each of the ministers. The ministers hold these rights for three
years.

The Rheingau region is one of 13 wine-growing areas in Germany. Despite its comparatively modest size, with around 3,500 hectares under vines (by way of comparison, Bordeaux has around 120,000
hectares), it is one of the most important wine-growing areas in the world. Taken overall, an average of ten million hectolitres of wine per year are harvested in Germany, equating to
approximately five percent of total wine production in the EU. This makes Germany the fourth largest wine producer in the EU. The most widespread varieties of wine are Riesling, M?r-Thurgau and
Pinot Noir.

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