Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Australia Completes Final Step in Protecting Wine PlACE Names

The latest news from our Down Under contacts tell Vino Las Vegas that on September 1 Australia will become the latest country to join the global movement in support of robust truth-in-labeling laws that protect consumers by requiring that wine growing place names are reserved exclusively for the regions where the wines come from.

“Most Australian wine producers stopped using Champagne and other wine growing place names many years ago,” says Sam Heitner, director of the Champagne Bureau in the United States. “Now Australian law will officially reserve ‘Champagne’ exclusively for wines from Champagne, France. Like the majority of countries in the world, Australia recognizes that when consumers buy a bottle of wine, they should be able to rely on the truthfulness of the bottle’s label.”

Winemaking regions around the world rely on their place name, or “Geographic Indication,” to differentiate themselves from other areas. Consumers also rely on those place names because when it comes to wine, there is no ingredient more important than location. The land, air, water, and weather where grapes are grown are a big part of what makes each wine unique.

“The United States remains one of the last countries that does not adequately protect the name of Champagne and other winemaking regions,” Heitner says. “Australia joins Europe, Mexico, India, China and numerous other countries in ensuring that wine labels make it clear: Champagne only comes from Champagne. On this issue, the United States is out of sync with the rest of the world. We need to strongly embrace truth-in-labeling to avoid misleading wine consumers.”

A loophole in U.S. law allows some winemakers to use the word “Champagne” on sparkling wines that do not come from Champagne, which can mislead consumers about the true origin of their wines. This practice is rejected by many winemakers in the United States – including many in Napa Valley, Oregon and Washington State. Most quality producers of sparkling wine in the United States compete very effectively both domestically and in the worldwide wine market using the term “sparkling wine” and proudly standing behind the location where their wines come from.

So the next time you purchase a Sparking Wine , Check the label !  you be be surprised where it came from

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Elaine and Scott

Elaine and Scott
Elaine and Scott