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Napa wines get better legal cover in Asia

Napa Valley winemakers can expect better legal protection for their wines in Singapore and South Korea after the countries passed a ruling to make copycats illegal.

Singapore and South Korea said they would legally recognise the Napa Valley appellation as the exclusive preserve of Napa wines. Both countries are important emerging markets for wine in Asia.

It is the latest of several trademark victories around the world for trade body Napa Valley Vintners (NVV), a non-profit organisation representing 525 members.

Pat Stotesbery, chairman of the NVV’s Napa Name Protection Committee and owner of Ladera Vineyards, said, ‘Our goal is to ensure that when a consumer enjoys a bottle of wine with ‘Napa Valley’ on the label, they can be confident that the quality and excellence the Napa Valley stands for is contained within.’

South Korea and Singapore were among the top 10 export markets for Californian wines in 2015, accounting for $23m and $15m of exports respectively, according to the California Wine Exports Report 2015.

In recent years, the NVV has secured protected status for the Napa Valley name in Israel, Turkey, Brazil, India, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Canada and Taiwan.

It was also the first wine region in the world to earn Geographic Indication (GI) status in China, in 2012.

Napa Valley is one of smallest wine regions in the world and 95% of its wineries are family owned.

Editing by Chris Mercer.

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