French 'Kiwi Cuvee' blocked in Australia

Kiwi cuvee, Sauvignon Blanc, david cox, New Zealand Wine Growers News Wine News http://decanter.media.ipcdigital.co.uk/11150/00000041a/5d04_orh100000w160/Kiwi-cuvee-wine.jpg http://decanter.media.ipcdigital.co.uk/11150/00000041a/9383/Kiwi-cuvee-wine.jpg
  • Monday 11 January 2010

A French Sauvignon Blanc has been blocked in Australia, following complaints from the New Zealand Winegrowers Association.

Lacheteau, a producer based in the Loire Valley, already sells its "Kiwi Cuvee" in Europe and Britain.

A recent attempt to register it in Australia caught the attention of The New Zealand Winegrowers Association, who subsequently opposed the move.

'The term "Kiwi" has a very strong association with New Zealand and our view is that it should be reserved for New Zealand wines,' New Zealand Wine Growers president Philip Gregan said.

David Cox, European director of New Zealand Wine Growers, called the development a 'delicious irony.'

'In a sense, the sincerest form of flattery is being paid to New Zealand producers of Sauvignon Blanc,' he told decanter.com

New Zealand Winegrowers told an Australian tribunal that Sauvignon Blanc was the 'archetypal New Zealand wine variety and screw-cap bottles, while being the preferred choice for New Zealand wines, are an anathema to traditional French winemakers.'

Trademarks hearing officer Terry Williams ruled that the name would cause confusion in Australia and blocked the registration attempt.

'Customers in such places might ask for wine by variety, for example a Clare Riesling or, less formally, a Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc,' Mr Williams said.

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