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16/01/2009

New Names for New Fortified Wine Era

What would you call the Australian fortified wine styles of Sherry and Tokay if you had to replace their names?

In the future we'll all be getting used to buying bottles of Apera and Topaque respectively as they have just been chosen as the recommended alternatives.

The change follows the signing of the Australia-European Community Agreement on Trade in Wine late last year in which Australia agreed to stop using the terms Port, Sherry and Tokay in return for a number of concessions by the European Community.

“The majority of fortified wine producers see this change as an opportunity to reinvigorate Australia’s fortified wine sector,” said Colin Campbell, Chairman of the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia steering committee overseeing the project.

Mr Campbell said that “these new names have been developed as a result of extensive market research and mark the first stage of our plan for the industry”.

“We expect to announce new terms to describe the various styles of ‘Apera’ in late February, and we will also provide a full report in the coming months” Mr Campbell said. “The report will document the research supporting the naming decisions plus details of the industry's first fortified segmentation analysis, insights into fortified wine consumption patterns in Australia and potential growth opportunities for producers.”

While the new names, ‘Apera’ and ‘Topaque’, have been registered with the trademarks body, IP Australia, they will be subject to scrutiny and protocol before they can be confirmed.

If confirmed, Australian consumers should start to see bottles of Australian ‘Apera’ for sale in 2009, as Sherry will be phased out in 2010. Tokay producers have a further 10 years before they are legally required to stop using Tokay, although producers are likely to introduce the new name much earlier.

Further information: Kevin Bascomb Steering Committee Project Manager Ph: 02 6033 2115 / 0407 176 919

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