Sunday 18 March 2018

Argentina wins wine battle over 'La Rioja'

Robin Yapp in Sao Paulo

Argentina has won the right to continue labelling its wines La Rioja after a 12-year diplomatic and legal battle with the Spanish wine-producing region of the same name.

Records show that grapes in the northern Spanish region of La Rioja, renow-ned for its red wines, date to at least the 9th century.

It was a Spaniard, Juan Ramirez de Velazco, who in 1591 founded the city of Todos los Santos de la Nueva Rioja in Argentina and named it in homage of the region in Spain.

But in recent decades Spanish producers of La Rioja began to question whether their counterparts in Argentina should be allowed to use the name.

They were concerned that wines from the La Rioja region of Argentina were beginning to enjoy success in Europe and the US.

In 1999, the Regulatory Council for the La Rioja Denomination of Origin in Spain took court action. The council claimed that labelling Argentine wines as Rioja risked confusing consumers.

However, Argentina's Federal Administrative Court has thrown out the claim, ruling that the province differentiated its wines sufficiently for the international market by using the name La Rioja Argentina. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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