|By Katherine Price|
On 20 March 2014 EU Regulation 251/2014 on geographical indications of aromatised wine products was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The new regulation is to take the place of Council Regulation (EEC) 1601/91, although it is not until 28 March 2015 that the former will actually be applied, with the exception of certain transitional measures, and the latter will be repealed. Regulation 251/2014 provides greater protection for geographical indications of this kind, on a par with that already enjoyed by others regulated at the Community level (those relating to agricultural produce and foodstuffs, spirits and wines).
Aromatized wine products are divided into three categories: aromatised wines, aromatised wine-based drinks and aromatised wine-product cocktails.
The sphere of protection of aromatised wine products is extended with respect, for example, to names which evoke these geographical indications and it is also stipulated that the GIs protected under the regulation shall not become generic.
The use of expressions such as ‘style’, ‘type’, ‘method’, ‘as produced in’, ‘flavour’, or the like is prohibited, as is the use of terms similar to any of the regulated sales denominations in the designation, presentation or labeling of alcoholic beverages which fail to comply with the requirements of the regulation. At the same time, rules for the use of those sales denominations and indications of provenance and for the registration of geographical indications in respect of goods of this kind are laid down, while the scope of protection and verification requirements are defined.
Turning to more specific details, it is to be noted that the word “Clarea” may only be used as a sales denomination for products made in Spain and that "Sangría"/"Sangria" is reserved for those made in Spain or Portugal. When the product is made elsewhere, those words may be used only to supplement the sales denomination ‘aromatised wine- based drink’ and on condition that they are accompanied by the words ‘produced in …’ followed by the name of the Member State of production or of a more restricted region.