Thursday, October 11, 2012

Napa Valley First International Wine Region to Receive Landmark Protection in China

In November 2010,  a delegation from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine - the Chinese government agency that oversees GI status  - visited the United States and as part of an agricultural tour, spent a day in the Napa Valley.  
The People's Republic of China has announced that Napa Valley has been recognized with Geographic Indication (GI) status in that country. Napa Valley is the first region outside of China to be so recognized with this designation. It provides the pivotal element in consumer protection against wines illegitimately labeled as being from Napa Valley in this important and rapidly expanding market. 

The GI was published in the report by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine which was just released.

"We are thrilled by the news that China, an economic world power and growing wine importer, has decided to grant Napa Valley this status, and we are honored to learn that we are the first winegrowing region outside of that country to achieve it," said Linda Reiff, NVV's executive director. "This is an historic milestone for the Napa Valley appellation and speaks to the global respect for our region's reputation and high-quality wines."

"Having the Chinese government's official recognition protects the integrity of the Napa Valley brand, and does so fairly early-on in our efforts to develop this tremendous market. This is a 'win' for Napa Valley and a 'win' for the Chinese consumer," Reiff said.

As was the case when achieving GI recognition from the European Union, the NVV made the request directly from the trade association to the government. Similarly with the EU, this had not been done before in China. Given the world-wide renown of brand Napa Valley, government officials saw the need and the value for this recognition.

The NVV members and staff worked for many years with the Chinese government to achieve the GI including several face-to-face meetings in Beijing. Meeting the winemakers, learning more about the unique attributes and the limited production of Napa's wines helped officials better understand the importance of this initiative.

"The Chinese market is only going to increase in importance to us in the coming years. We needed to make sure we were safeguarding our brand and its reputation. It's clear that they see the value in this from both the prospective of the producer, but also from the prospective of the consumers in China," said Cakebread Cellars' President Bruce Cakebread, who actively participated in the negotiations.

Read more here.

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