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Santa Barbara County in California and French wine regions Bordeaux and Bourgogne/Chablis are the latest signatories of the Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place & Origin, a global movement aimed at ensuring wine place names are protected and not abused or miscommunicated to consumers.

Representatives from Santa Barbara, Bourgogne/Chablis and Bordeaux are attending meetings with other Declaration members in the Champagne region of France this week. Champagne is one of the founding signatories to the Declaration.

“We are honored to join this esteemed group of the world’s leading wine regions,” said Morgen McLaughlin, executive director of the Santa Barbara Vintners. “Santa Barbara County 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.”

The Declaration meetings come at a time when there is considerable momentum building globally to protect place names and demand accurate and fair labeling. Recently, the Canadian government updated its laws to require all wines labeled “Champagne” come from Champagne, France. In 2013, Chinese trade officials formally recognized the names of Napa Valley and Champagne, prohibiting the misuse of these place names within its borders.

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André Ségala, general manager of the Bourgogne Wine Board said, “We are proud of our region’s winemaking history and its identity, which sets us apart. There is fierce competition across the world, and as such, we continue to raise the profile of our wines. Name protection is essential to ensuring the authenticity of the product we share with consumers.”

“Regions like Bordeaux, Bourgogne/Chablis, Santa Barbara and Napa Valley are unlike any place else in the world and the evolution and growth of the wine industry rests on the protection of place names,” said Fabien Bova, director general of the Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux. “Wine consumers are becoming more and more educated about what they consume. Wine labels need to reflect the true regions from which a wine hails and consumers must be protected from those who fail to recognize the distinguishing features that makes all regional wines unique.”

Other signatories of the Declaration include: Champagne, Chianti Classico, Jerez-Xérès-Sherry, Long Island, Napa Valley, Oregon, Paso Robles, Porto, Rioja, Sonoma County, Victoria, Tokaj, Walla Walla Valley, Washington state, Willamette Valley and Western Australia. The declaration is posted on ProtectPlace.com.

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