Another small step toward authenticity
As far as I know New Zealand may, with the possible exception of China, be the only significant wine producing country yet to have a system that authenticates wine regions and sub-regions.
The lack of a system is already becoming a trade barrier. Felton Road (tastings) was unable to export their 2015 Bannockburn Riesling (tasting) to the EU because the wine was below the minimum permitted alcohol level of 8.5% vol. If we had a Geographic Indication system in place the wine would have been allowed to enter the EU. That must make us look a little Third World, at least in the eyes of the bureaucrats in Brussels.
Good news! On Thursday 17 March The Geographical Indications (Wines and Spirits) Amendment Bill was debated for the first time and will now go through the select committee process, including public submissions.
The Bill amends the Geographical Indications (Wines and Spirits) Registration Act, which was passed in 2006 but never brought into force.
“Giving New Zealand wine and spirit makers the ability to register regional names as geographical indications for their product will help protect their reputation and build value.”
Says Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith. He added,
“Geographical indications will give consumers confidence in a product’s authenticity, assuring them of its value for money.”