Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Rioja, Long Island join Wine Place & Origin protection movement

By Jessica Yadegaran
Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010 at 4:49 pm in Corkheads.

What does wine and real estate have in common? Location, location, location.

The next time you’re at a dinner party and someone serves you Champagne, ask them what part of France it’s from.

Nine times out of 1o, they’re pouring you a sparkling wine from California, a Prosecco from Italy, or a cava from Spain. Those are all great sparkling wines, but they’re not from Champagne.

Get it?

The Office of Champagne was a founding member of the Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place & Origin. It was signed on July 26, 2005 in Napa Valley and its aim is simple: To educate consumers on the importance of location in winemaking. Others who signed that day include Jerez, Porto, Walla Walla, Oregon, Napa Valley, and Washington State.

Now, the wine regions of Long Island, New York, famous for cool climate wines such as riesling, and Rioja, Spain, known for its big push in the value red market in the United States, are the latest signatories of the Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place & Origin.

It now has 15 members including Chianti Classico, Paso Robles, Porto, Sonoma County, Victoria, Tokaj, and Western Australia.

Just as it’s impossible to call a sweet wine made outside of Jerez by the name Jerez, the growers and vintners from these regions believe their wines are distinctive and should be accurately reflected on a label.

In other words, consumers deserve to know what they’re getting, and that the label matches the juice. It’s kind of like buying a bottle of olive oil and getting canola oil.

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