Friday, 5 July 2019

5.7.19 EU-Mercasur Deal Will End Fake "Sherry in South America

Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, but it is in fact fraud which does much harm to producers of the genuine article. For centuries the great wines of Europe have suffered inferior quality imitations which do considerable damage to their reputation, and fighting back is no easy or inexpensive task. Part of the problem stems from how a wine is conceived: in Europe, Sherry for example, is the name of a place, the only place where such a wine can be made, using specific time-honoured techniques and grape varieties, and whose producers have spent centuries earning their reputation. Outside Europe Sherry is regarded as a style, usually a sweet one, and made without regard for terroir, technique or grape.

Fake "Sherry" from Argentina (L) and California

The European Union has done much to address this problem but there still remain some stubborn countries which persist with fake "Sherry" such as New Zealand and the United States. Thanks to the free trade agreement signed a week ago by the EU and Mercosur, the South American trade bloc, countries like Argentina will no longer be permitted to produce fake "Sherry". It has taken 20 years of negotiation however, and a 7 year period has been allowed to make the necessary changes. The biggest challenge of all will be the US, where Donald Trump is doing what he can to protect US wine producers – including makers of “Californian Sherry” – by threatening protectionist tariffs on European wines.

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