Napa wineries drop port

Three winery members of the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) have announced that they are giving up voluntarily the use of port on their fortified dessert wine labels.

The producers, Boyd Family Vineyards, Freemark Abbey and Jessup Cellars, have the legal right to use the term following the signing of the 2006 US/European Commission Wine Trade Agreement.

However, each has voluntarily agreed to abandon use of the semi-generic term out of respect for the NVV’s efforts to protect winemaking place names and as a nod to the Napa Valley’s alliance with Porto, the world’s oldest denominated wine region.

Emma Swain, incoming chairwoman of the board of the 525-plus member organisation and CEO of St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery, said: “Protecting the Napa name and preventing consumer confusion are top priorities for the NVV.

“If we’re asking other regions to respect our name, we’ve got to walk the talk. We applaud these three member wineries for doing the right thing and we encourage other vintners to follow suit.”

Vincent Perrin, director general of the Comité Champagne, delivered the meeting’s keynote address, providing insights from his trade association about luxury marketing.

Champagne has been a steadfast NVV ally in the global effort to protect and respect place names for quality wine regions. Napa Valley, Champagne and Porto were also three of the original signatories of the transatlantic agreement, Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place & Origin in 2005.