Clinging to prosecco name

24 Jan 2018 Border Mail, Albury-Wodonga (General News) by Shana Morgan WINEMAKERS in the King Valley are banding together in a stance against what they claim is an unfair bid by Italy to take away their rights to the prosecco name. Five wineries met with Rural and Regional Australia Shadow Assistant Minister Lisa Chesters when she visited the region yesterday. Wines of the King Valley president Dean CleaveSmith said the issue posed big risks to the regional wine industry, because the popular drink would be difficult to market without a proper name, but he believed common sense would prevail. The long-term impact could be really significant for the King Valley if we lose the rights to the name, he said. As an industry we believe weve got a valid argument. Its just not fair and our concern is more broadly on the food sector in Australia. If its not prosecco, could it be cheeses or meats (that have to change a geographical name)? Grape vines from Italys Prosecco region were first imported to Australia decades ago, well before the issue around the name was raised in 2009. Ms Chesters said Australia had time to build its case to keep the prosecco name because Europe was too busy dealing with Brexit and had not moved any further on trade negotiations. If they had to change the name of their brand, it could cost the industry $400 million and it could cost not just these businesses, but hundreds of jobs, she said. We are very sympathetic towards the winemakers they have invested a lot on building this brand. Ms Chesters said they would use the great stories of King Valley winemakers, many who have Italian heritage, to demonstrate why the prosecco name should remain. Its something youd think the Italians would be really proud of, she said. Ive got great concerns about geographical indicators because where does it begin and end? What is next? Caption Text: BACKING THE KING VALLEY: Jaclyn Symes, Michael Dal Zotto and Lisa Chesters under the prosecco grapes. They are fighting to keep the prosecco name. Picture: MARK JESSER Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence.