Vineyards in the Napa Valley now have protection of Geographic Indication status from the European Union that will help protect them from copycat wines.
There are about 30 wines worldwide from outside of the prime California growing region -- many from China -- that use the words Napa or Napa Valley on their label. The local growers claim this is an infringement meant to deceive consumers. The new designation gives the wineries extra power in disputes, similar to trademark protection.
The Napa Valley produces just 4 percent of all California wine, but sales of these sought after products generate about 25 percent of the state’s wine revenues. The Napa Valley is the first region outside of the European Union to get the Geographic Indication recognition.
China is not alone in its false labeling of wines as Napa. Italy, Germany anmd the United Kingdom have Napa brands that have nothing to do with Califronia.