"Napa Valley" is first non-European geographical indication for wine registered by EU
By J. Scott Gerien
Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty
On May 10, 2007, the "Napa Valley" American Viticultural Area (AVA), along with the Brazilian appellation "Vale do Vinhedos," became the first non-European geographical indications ("GIs") for wine registered by the European Union (EU).
The journey to registration for "Napa Valley" was long and arduous and has paved the way for the registration of other AVAs and non-European appellations by the EU. The importance of this registration to American wine regions is significant as AVAs, upon registration in the EU, will now be entitled to absolute protection in the entire European Community.
The road to registration for "Napa Valley" in the EU is instructive, underlining the importance of receiving such registration. In early 2001, the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) began an international program of policing misuse of the Napa name.
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Practical Winery & Vineyard