European Union puts cork in Australian 'Champagne'

09:21, September 01, 2010      

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Australian winemakers will no longer be permitted to use established names such as Champagne, Port or Sherry for their products under an agreement with Europe that comes into force Wednesday.

Australia has one year to phase out the use of such names under the deal, which was signed two years ago to protect the European Union's labeling regime based on the geographic locations of prod-ucts, the European Commission said.

"The agreement is a win-win outcome and achieves a balanced result for European and Australian winemakers," European Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos said Tuesday.

Europeans are striving to protect the names of regional and traditional foods originating from specific regions, such as Parmesan cheese made in Parma, Italy, or Britain's Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb.

Champagne is made in a specific region of France, Port is from Portugal and Sherry is from Spain's Jerez region.

Other names Australians will no longer be allowed to use include Burgundy, Chablis, Graves, Manzanilla, Marsala, Moselle, Sauterne and White Burgundy.

Australia will be allowed to use the name Tokay, a sweet white wine from a region in Hungary, for another 10 years.

Under the deal, Australia will no longer be able to use traditional expressions such as Amontillado, Claret, and Auslese from September 1, 2011.

The new deal also outlines conditions under which Australia will be able to continue to use certain terms for quality wines, including "vintage," "cream" and "tawny," for wines exported to Europe and sold domestically.

The benefits for Australia will include a simpler certification procedure for wines exported to the EU, as well as a more efficient method of recognizing winemaking practices.

Source: Global Times


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