Australia banned from using Champagne, Sherry and Port on labels

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  • Friday 3 September 2010

Australian winemakers have been banned from using the words Champagne, Port and Sherry on their labels under a major EU deal.

Australian winemakers have been banned from using the words Champagne, Port and Sherry on their labels under a major EU deal.

Wine producers have a year to phase out the names of wines based on geographic locations, which are protected under the EU labeling regime.

Any sparkling wine made outside France’s Champagne region may no longer be labelled Champagne.

Other names included in the ban, which applies to the entire wine world, are Burgundy, Chablis, Graves and Sauternes, though Tokay will be allowed to appear on labels outside of the Hungarian region for another 10 years.

Wine style expressions such as Manzanilla, Amontillado and Auslese will also be protected from 1 September 2011; a year after the agreement comes into force.

In return, 117 of Australia’s geographical indicators, including Barossa, Coonawarra and Margaret River, will be protected in Europe.

European Agricultural Commissioner Dacian Ciolos said, ‘The agreement is a win-win outcome and achieves a balanced result for European and Australian winemakers’.

John McDonnell, manager of Wine Australia, Ireland, was relaxed about the new ruling.

‘We haven’t got a bloody nose. Style indicators are being phased out anyway and most winemakers understand the reasoning behind the ban – it’s a growing-up phase for the Australian wine industry.’

EU wine exports to Australia were worth £56m last year, according to the European commission.


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