United States' "Napa Valley" bags Geographical Indication (GI) Tag
United States of America has bagged one Geographical Indication (GI) Tag namely "Napa Valley".
Napa Valley Wine is a manufactured product, whose application for a GI tag was filed by the Napa Valley Vinters Association on 26th November 2008 and the product was certified on 4th October 2010.
Napa Valley Vinters Association, also referred as "NVV", is a dynamic trade body dedicated to advancing Napa Valley's wines both in the United States and abroad. NVV and its vinter members have worked over the past 60 years to protect and promote the "Napa Valley" Geographical Indication used in respect of a wine that is produced in the Napa Valley Region since the 1800s. The members range from small family-owned operations, to large publicly-held international conglomerates producing several million cases of wine per year.
Napa Valley wine region is located 50 miles north of San Francisco, California, and is known around the world as the premium wine-growing region in North America. Napa Valley was originally settled by the Wappo Native American people who called it 'Napa', meaning 'land of plenty', a name that was adopted by future settlers of European descent. The combination of Mediterranean climate, geography and geology of the region are conclusive to growing quality wine grapes. The rare flavor of the Napa Valley wine is a result of a combination of extremities in temperatures, unique to the Napa Valley Region. The Napa Valley is also unique for the diversity of its soil. Soils of volcanic, maritime and alluvial origin exist, each created by geological events that occurred over the Napa Valley's 60 million year history. The various soil types present in Napa Valley produce grapes that give Napa Valley wine its unique characteristics and contribute to its worldwide reputation as a premium quality product.
The Napa Valley region is renowned for the extraordinary diversity of wine styles ranging from intensely concentrated and flavored cabernet sauvignons, ripe and fruity pinot noirs and the ever popular spicy zinfandels to rich creamy chardonnays and even sauternes style botrytis affected dessert wines. These wines are very high in their alcohol content, sometimes as much as 16 per cent or more.
There are several quality control and Inspection mechanisms regarding Napa Valley wine. The Code of Federal Regulation, in force in the United States, defines the right and general conditions for vinters to use the designation "American Viticultural Area" (AVA) which is treated as a geographical indication. Further, pursuant to US law, every wine sold in the US must first obtain a Certificate of Label Approval ("COLA"). Further, TTAB has certain powers and functions in respect of wines made and sold in the United States. Accordingly, NVV already has inspection and quality control mechanisms in place to ensure that the quality of the wines under the geographical indication Napa Valley is consistent with consumer expectations.
Due to the unique and complex combination of agro-climatic conditions prevailing in the region comprising the said vineyards within the Napa Valley region and the production regulations imposed pursuant to the US laws described above, wine produced in the Napa Valley region has won the patronage and recognition of discerning consumers not only in the United States, but also all over the world. Consequently, the wine produced in the said region is and has for long been known to the trade and the public in the US and world over as Napa Valley wine. As such, it has acquired substantial domestic and international reputation. It is pertinent to note here that Napa Valley wine has been recognized in the "List of quality wines produced in specific regions" published pursuant to Article 54 (4) of European Council Regulation (EC) No. 1493/1999. Consequently, while the name "Napa Valley" is purely descriptive of the said region of the State of California in the United States of America, it has acquired a special uniqueness, reputation and goodwill in the public mind when used in relation to wines produced therein so that the right to attach it to such wine forms part of the goodwill of all those who are duly associated with the said region.
The objects of NVV are to protect the Napa Valley as a wine growing region second to none in the world and to preserve the history of the region and its land, wines, and community for future generations. NVV addresses the shared interests of nearly 300 members and is the essential organization for all Napa Valley Vinters. NVV is not involved in the growing or production of wines or any other and is run on a non-profit making basis. NVV submits that it is in the interest of both trade and public that there should be a registration for "Napa Valley" wine as a geographical indication to ensure that the wine sold under it is recognized as wine produced from grapes grown in the region of Napa Valley in California and having the aforesaid superior quality properties.