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China recognises Napa's GI status

Cause for celebration in the Napa Valley as the world's 5th largest wine buying nation, China, award them GI status.

Napa Valley already has GI recognition in Europe, India, Thailand and Canada. But so far no other wine region outside China's own borders has been acknowledged with a Geographic Indication (GI). These are used in all countries to act as a certification of authenticity.

It's taken Napa Valley 14 years of negotiation with the Chinese authorities and will come as some relief to Napa Valley vintners as it should help prevent Napa Valley knockoffs and counterfeiting of labels and allow for consumer protection in China's rapidly growing market. Sales of Napa wines in China grew 34 percent from 2010 to 2011.

The next obstacle will be working with Chinese authorities to enforce the GI status. All wine needs to be registered before going to the market; with the GI status in place, a red flag will go up if a wine doesn't match up.