Italians agree name for Tocai
The Italians have resolved the fiasco of what to call the wine that used to go by the name of Tocai. After much disagreement and a couple of court cases, the Italian Government has declared that the DOC wines formerly known as Tocai will be labelled either Tocai Friulano or just Friulano in Italy, while wines to be exported will be marked Friulano.
The issue started because, under Hungary’s accession to the EU, it was agreed that the country would have sole use of the name Tokaji and winemakers in Italy and Alsace would relinquish the name. The Italians were given until last March to find another and, although most agreed the wine should be called Friulano abroad as Tocai is grown in Friuli Venezia Giulia, a band of producers from Trieste took legal action to block the use of the name and twice won their case. It was a serious problem as far as the producers in the region were concerned because it looked as if the 2007 vintage would be nameless and as such the DOC wines would have to be downgraded to vins de pays or vino da tavola.
However, this isn’t the end of it because the European Court has yet to make its decision, which, according to Liva Nocenti of the FederDoc regional trade body, Federazione dei Consorzi Tutela Vini del Friuli Venezia Giulia, won’t probably happen until the autumn.
In the meantime, the Italian Government’s decision will be valid, allowing us to enjoy bottles here labelled Friulano.