Earlier this month, Long Island became part of a very important group and a very select group. The Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place Names and Origin was started in July of 2005 by seven members, Champagne, Jerez, Napa Valley, Oregon, Porto, Walla Walla Valley, and Washington State. These seven members felt that where a wine comes from is important, not only for the wine makers and vintners of those regions, but this is “a global movement aimed at ensuring wine place names are protected and not abused or miscommunicated to consumers.”
The group has expanded from the original seven to include the following, Chianti Classico, Paso Robles, Sonoma County, Tokaj, Victoria, Western Australia and now Long Island, NY and Rioja, Spain round out the group to a total of 15 “of the world’s most prominent wine regions – all jointly advocating for better protection of place names.”
“We are honored to join this esteemed group of the world’s leading wine regions. Long Island wines, like all those represented in this coalition, are unique. They can’t be duplicated anywhere else in the world and today we come together to recognize that nothing shapes a wine’s character like its location,” said Chris Baiz, president of the board of directors, Long Island Wine Council and owner of The Old Field Vineyards. (From the Joint Declaration’s Press Release.)
Ok, so what does this mean, “By becoming signatories of the Declaration, members agree that geographic names are fundamental tools for consumers to identify the special wines associated with specific winegrowing regions. And as such, they commit to work together to bring the necessary awareness and advocacy to bear to ensure these names are protected and respected. From great winegrowing regions to consumer rights groups to everyday wine consumers, more and more are making their voices heard in the campaign to protect wine place names.” (From the Press Release)
To some it up, its all about location, location, location; and how that is important to what is in your bottle. When you see Parmigiano-Reggiano stamped on the side of a cheese wheel, you know where it came from, when you see the Idaho Potato emblem on a bag of potatoes, you know where it came from. It is also a signature of the quality in the product you are purchasing and consuming. The same can be said for the wine you drink. So in the future, when you see Long Island, NY on the label of a bottle of wine you will know that the grapes used to make that wine came from Long Island.
I raise my glass of Long Island Sparkling Wine to that!
To lend support and read the full text of the Declaration visit www.protectplace.com.
I’m not sure your conclusion is 100% accurate. Under law, wineries can blend up to 15% non-Long Island wine into a wine and still label it Long Island (or the sub-AVAs). There are also, of course, rumors that some wineries are “pushing that” a bit, but I’m not sure that it can be proven.
The other thing that is interesting about this is just how many LI producers are behind this initiative given that a few use “Champagne” on their bubbly labels and use “Port” on their fortified dessert wine labels. I think both should be removed from labels here, but will we see that happen?
I was looking for clarification on that and could not find it; that’s why I held out on this post for a while. I too was under that impression, but I believe that it is more about keeping the terrior honest.
It will be interesting to see how “Port” will be labeled in the future. I have laready seen the transition from Champagne to Sparkling.
In any event, this is huge for the Long Island Wine industry.
We’ll talk the next time we meet about those still using “Champagne” on their labels locally. I don’t see the value in naming names here 🙂