Yesterday it was announced that the U.S. and EU have reached agreement, after 20 years of negotiations, on a variety of winemaking practices and the use of semi-generic terms such as chianti and burgundy. The agreement will allow now EU-banned winemaking techniques common in the U.S. like vineyard irrigation and adding wood chips to fermentation tanks to extract oak character without barrel aging. Missed in the agreement were some of the most contentious issues of place names, like champagne, port, burgundy and sherry, which are used by some wineries in the U.S. to designate a specific style of wine. While new brands canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t use them, existing wineries can, which doesn’t satisfy the EU wine industry who argue that this confuses consumers. Hopefully this issue can be resolved in less than 20 years or U.S. customers can be educated that Andre “champagne” is not made in France, but in a factory in Modesto, CA. Since these negotiations started, most U.S. wine consumers have learned to look not at the generic terms, but varietal names, on wine labels. This trend is something EU producers should take note of in their future labeling practices.
You are here: / / U.S. and EU Reach Wine Accord