Almost half of the world’s vineyards are in the EU and the EU produces around 60% of the world’s wine. The EU is also the world’s most regulated wine market. In 2007, the European Union decided on a major reform of its wine policy, the so-called Common Market Organization (CMO) for wine. A crucial element was the abolishment of a system of planting rights to regulate planting of vineyards in the EU. However, before its implementation opponents of the liberalization of planting rights are lobbying EU governments to reverse the decision. Our paper provides the first theoretical analysis of the economic effects and the welfare implications of planting rights. Our model integrates the markets for land, planting rights and wine to analyze the efficiency and distributional effects. We analyze the impact of enforcement problems, trade restrictions, and the use of government reserves in the planting rights system.
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