Last week, in a frustrating turn of events, the European Union passed a law that bans the sale of any American wine with one of the following words on the labels:
Chateau, classic, clos, cream, crusted/crusting, fine, late bottled vintage, noble, ruby, superior, sur lie, tawny, vintage, vintage character
The legislation comes as a follow-up to a 2006 agreement that limited the American use of terms like "Champagne" or "Chablis." Because it preserved certain wine growing regions, this pact was widely accepted. However, the new stricter ban is not related to protecting a specific region. The law will affect American growers of port and sherry, and many large American wineries, like Washington's popular Chateau Ste. Michelle and Napa's famed Chateau Montelena, will no longer be able to sell wine in Europe.
Like many wine enthusiasts, I think this is an absurd regulation and hope that the Europeans will reconsider the terminology ban. How do you feel about it? Are you surprised to hear that Europe is prohibiting the sale of American wine?