Protecting the Heritage of 'Wines of a Place'

    The concept of truth in advertising should extend to wine labels.

     That’s why the Napa Ridge brand of wines caused such a stir at the dawning of the new millennium. There is no geographic place known as “Napa Ridge,” and there wasn’t even a Napa Ridge Winery.

     Vintners in real parts of the Napa Valley took umbrage with the Napa name being hijacked (as they put it), and a lengthy court battle ensued.

     The very public debate over the use of the Napa name in a non-Napa wine helped fuel interest in protecting wine region names around the world. In 2005, representatives of seven regions signed a “Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place Names & Origin.”

     Now, there are more than double that number of signatories, with the recent additions of Long Island in New York, and Rioja in Spain.

     The list also includes:

     * Champagne

     * Chianti Classico

     * Jerez

     * Napa Valley

     * Oregon

     * Paso Robles

     * Porto

     * Sonoma County

     * Victoria

     * Tokaj

     * Walla Walla Valley

     * Washington (state)

     * Western Australia

     “On behalf of all the bodegas that make up the DOC Rioja, we are thrilled to join the Declaration partners,” said Rioja representative Victor Pascual Artacho, “and express our unequivocal support for the integrity of wine place names.”

     Added Artacho: “No matter where a wine comes from, consumers deserve to know if the wine they drink is what it says it is on the label.”

Posted in Wine Region Profiles
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