Points of view - opinions that make a market

27 August, 2008
Page 24 
Region of origin is what researchers like to call a "high involvement cue". People who know their regions, goes the logic, are more likely to:

l be highly involved in wine

l be willing to trade up

l talk about their recent purchases to friends.

Using Vinitrac Global, its proprietary survey of wine consumers in all major wine consumption markets, Wine Intelligence has compared the extent of this region knowledge across 11 different countries. The results show that consumers in Switzerland, Ireland and the UK tend to have greater wine region knowledge than, say, consumers in Germany or the U S . Japanese consumers are aware on average of only five regions. Partly this is due to the language barrier and partly to the fact that, of all the countries in Vinitrac, Japan probably still has furthest to go in terms of making wine an understandable and desirable product.

Richard Halstead

operations director

----=== The generic body ===The UK government's intention to further codify and consolidate the rules on the definition and presentation of Scotch whisky follows the most comprehensive consideration of it since the 1909 Royal Commission. The proposals have been developed by the industry and consulted on since 2004. The proposals will better protect Scotch by recognising regional designations such as Islay and Speyside, and outlawing a range of misleading practices. This is a defining moment for Scotch and we are delighted the UK and Scottish governments have joined with distillers to introduce this landmark legislation.----=== The Swedish vodka producer ===As importers of Scotch we appreciate consumer confidence in the product. However, this proposal reveals the protectionist double standards of UK authorities. When it comes to whisky, the UK government supports a stricter generic definition as well as a stricter geographical indication (GI) legislation. When it comes to the traditional spirit of our region - vodka - the UK government opposes a stricter definition. Ultimately, international respect for definitions requires mutuality.---- === The lawyer ===The Scotch whisky designation already benefits from three distinct tiers of legal protection: the UK Scotch Whisky Act; European regulation; and the law of passing-off. It is doubtful whether the proposals will significantly improve the legal position in the UK. However, other courts - particularly in Australia - look to UK legislation when determining the parameters for protecting Scotch . In these cases there will be clear benefits.----=== The Russian vodka producer ===Efforts aimed at providing clear information as to product provenance and production, be it whisky, vodka or any other category/industry, can only be praised. Authenticity combined with quality is the core strategy behind our vodka brands. Similarly to whisky for vodka as well, origin and core ingredients do make the difference in terms of quality and taste. At RSV we welcome this initiative and it gives us further energy as we  strive to promote the same idea with vodka.