A French winemaker’s attempt to sell its “Kiwi Cuvee” wine in Australia has been tipped over.
Winemaker Lacheteau, which is based in the Loire Valley, already sells its sauvignon blanc, labelled Kiwi Cuvee, in Europe and Britain.
However, an attempt to register it in Australia caught the interest of the New Zealand Winegrowers, which opposed the move, British newspaper The Times reported.
The term ‘kiwi’ has a very strong association with New Zealand and our view is that it should be reserved for New Zealand wines,” said New Zealand Winegrowers president Philip Gregan.
He said it was a “delicious irony” that the French were attempting to capitalise on the popularity of New Zealand sauvignon blancs by trying to disguise their wine as something other than French.
The French would have no hesitation in stopping a New Zealand winemaker implying its wine was made in France, he said.
“Sauvignon blanc is the archetypal New Zealand wine variety and screw-cap bottles such as (Lacheteau) uses, while being the preferred choice for New Zealand wines, are anathema to traditional French winemakers,” Gregan’s organisation told an Australian tribunal considering the registration.
Trademarks hearing officer Terry Williams ruled the name would cause confusion in Australia and blocked the registration attempt.
“Customers in such places might ask for wine by variety, for example a Clare riesling or, less formally, a kiwi sav blanc,” Mr Williams said.