July 31, 2017

A new (wine) world order

Wine, we love it but only when we get what we're expecting.

Historically wine and spirit producers have had to rely on passing off or the Fair Trading Act in New Zealand to address misleading statements about what their product is and where it comes from. However, New Zealand is finally implementing a codified geographical indicators regime, which despite being first mooted back in 2006, comes in to force tomorrow (27 July 2017), when the new Geographical Indications Register goes live.

The GI register allows New Zealand and international wine (and spirit) producers to protect the region(s) a particular tipple hails from, for example, Champagne, Gimblett Gravels, Barossa Valley or Islay.

Applicants will need to provide evidence establishing a region has a particular quality, reputation or other characteristic of the wine or spirit attributable to its geographical origin. However, applications for foreign GIs can be based upon corresponding GIs in the country of origin.

We're looking forward to the additional clarity for New Zealand consumers this regime will bring, and are happy to assist producers (or representative organisations) with any queries they may have and to obtain registrations.

Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Act 2006 (The GI Act) The GI Act will come into force on 27 July 2017. The GI Act creates a Geographical Indications Register (the Register) and provides a regime for registering place names as GIs for wine or spirits. Both New Zealand and foreign GIs will be registrable.

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