WFA responds to recent Drinks Business article 'Italy Protests Australian ‘Nero d’Avola’ in the UK'
Regarding the recent Drinks Business article titled Italy Protests Australian ‘Nero d’Avola’ in the UK, the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) provides the following response:
WFA fully supports the notion that Australian wine should not be marketed as “Sicilian” or from “Sicily”. However to draw the conclusion that UK merchants should “block the selling of Australian wines bearing the name of the variety Nero d’Avola on their wine labels” is completely ludicrous.
While the Nero d’Avola grape variety may be native to Sicily, according to the International Organisation of Vine and Wines International list of vine varieties and their synonyms, Nero d’Avola is a recognised grape variety for use in Australia since 2011 and is also recognised in Argentina, Bulgaria, Portugal, France and Italy. In Australia, it is produced in South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales across at least 20 Australian Geographical Indication (GI) regions.
It is apparent that this is yet another thinly veiled attempt to restrict the use of grape varieties indigenous to Italy to Italian producers. Whether it is Prosecco, Nero d’Avola, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, or others, the fact remains that these are all internationally recognised grape varieties, which are produced outside of Italy.
This protectionist behaviour, which seeks to utilise GI protection to restrict trade of the varieties, is harmful to the whole wine sector and does a great disservice to our great industry. Italian producers make great wine and should be proud of what they do. Rather than seeking to restrict trade, we fully support the ability to present and describe our wines with the grape variety name to fully inform consumers, within an open and free trading environment.
Above all else, the rights of international wine producers to grow, produce and label grape varieties must be maintained in all markets and WFA will continue to fight for these rights.
Tony Battaglene, Chief Executive
Winemakers’ Federation of Australia