1 Sep 2010

Australia and EU set new rules for wine trade

1:17 pm on 1 September 2010

A new agreement governing the wine trade between Australia and the European Union comes into force on Wednesday.

Replacing one signed 16 years ago, it is designed to safeguard geographical locations used for generations by EU wine producers and to protect important names such as champagne, port, sherry and claret.

The agreement also outlines conditions under which Australian wine producers can use terms such as tawny, vintage or cream.

New Zealand Winegrowers doesn't see the agreement having any major implications for its members. Its lawyer, John Barker, says the EU hasn't placed the same sort of restrictions on the New Zealand wine industry.

Mr Barker says the use of the term reserve on a wine gives it added value, so giving up the right to use that word would be significant.