The world's leading chefs and sommeliers have given their support to a coalition calling for truth in wine labelling.
Rioja: Protecting the name
El Bulli‘s Ferran Adria, The French Laundry‘s Thomas Keller, Pontus Elofsson from Noma and respresentatives from world-renowned restaurants including Joel Robuchon, Wolfgang Puck and Alain Ducasse have signed an open letter lending their support to protect wine place names.
Jose Andres, who has restaurants in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Washington DC said, ‘We support the Joint Declaration to protect wine place and origin because place names are central to understanding the foods and wines we work with every day’.
In a deal signed last year between US and Europe, the United States has agreed to prevent new wine producers from using the names ‘port’ and other semi-generic names such as Sherry and Burgundy. But agreement has a ‘grandfather clause’ that allows producers in the market before March 2006 to continue the practice in some cases.
The Declaration to Protect Wine Place and Origin, a coalition first formed in 2005, has the support of 15 wine regions including Champagne, Jerez, Porto and Napa.
According to the Napa Valley Vintners Association, producers from countries as diverse as Germany and China have put ‘Napa’ or similarly misleading labels on their wines.
With the support of chefs and, food and wine experts, the coalition hopes that this will persuade lawmakers to better protect wine place names.
Written by Rebecca Gibb in Auckland