Changes to Canadian wine geographical indications

On December 31, 2008, Burgundy, Bourgogne, Rhine, Rhin, Sauterne and Sauternes could no longer be used as generic names for wines due to the repeal of specific provisions in Canada’s Trade-marks Act.

This change is due to the Agreement on Trade in Wine and Spirit Drinks (the “Agreement“) between Canada and the European Union. This Agreement between Canada and the E.U., signed in 2004, updates a previous treaty between the two territories.

Article 12 of the Agreement sets out a timetable by which Canada can no longer permit specific wine names to be used as generic names. That timetable includes the aforementioned December 31, 2008 changes.

As a consequence of the timetable in Article 12 of the Agreement, Trade-marks Act provisions that currently permit the use of Champagne, Port, Porto, Sherry and Chablis as generic names for wines will be repealed on December 31, 2013. Consequently, as of December 31, 2013, only wines originating from the Champagne, Porto, Sherry and Chablis regions can bear those respective identifiers.


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