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Local council seeks to trademark Judea as official wine-making region

The region has grape-growing characteristics and quality that’s hard to find elsewhere, according to the Mateh Yehuda Regional Council.

Bottles from the Derech Eretz winery at the Sommelier 2018 exhibition in Tel Aviv. Credit: Eliana Rudee.
Bottles from the Derech Eretz winery at the Sommelier 2018 exhibition in Tel Aviv. Credit: Eliana Rudee.

The Mateh Yehuda Regional Council and the Judea Wineries Association aim to have Judea recognized as a trademark wine-making region, Israel Hayom has learned.

The two applied to the Registrar of Trademarks at the Justice Ministry for the classification of Judea as a wine grape-growing region under global wine-industry appellation-of-origin laws. This would effectively apply intellectual-property protection to wines produced there.

The classification request was made for the Judea area as a whole, as well as for two sub-regions: the “Judean Mountains” and the “Judean Slopes.”

Vineyard classification has a long history dating from to the 14th century. Many regional wine classifications exist around the world as part of tradition or appellation law.

The classification of wine can be done according to the place of origin, vinification methods and styles, or by sweetness and vintage.

Famous wine regions worldwide include France’s Champagne, Bordeaux and Burgundy regions; the Napa and Sonoma valleys in the United States; Italy’s Tuscany and Chianti regions; Portugal’s Douro Valley, where Port wine is produced exclusively; and Australia’s Margaret River and Barossa Valley, to name a few.

The motion by the Mateh Yehuda Regional Council and the Judea Wineries Associations is the first in 50 years since the appeal to trademark “Jaffa,” which is used by Agrexco for marketing citrus fruits abroad, was granted.

“Jaffa” is Israel’s only recognized appellation of origin under the Lisbon Convention that protects the “geographical denomination of a country, region or locality, which serves to designate a product originating therein, the quality or characteristics of which are due exclusively or essentially to the geographic environment, including natural and human factors.”

The application noted that Israel’s wine-region map has not been updated in 40 years and is now irrelevant.

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