DÜSSELDORF, Germany, March 17, 2019 – The Wine Origins Alliance today announced the Missouri Wine & Grape Board in the United States and Yamanashi Wineries Association in Japan joined their global efforts to protect wine place names. The Alliance now includes 25 members representing wine regions in 10 countries spanning North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. It welcomed its newest members at a meeting during the ProWein trade fair, where members discussed ways to continue to push governments to recognize the distinctiveness and value of wine regions to the global economy and the need to legally protect the names of these regions.

“As the home of the oldest American Viticultural Area (AVA) in the United States, Missouri has long known that unique places produce unique wines,” said Jim Anderson, executive director of the Missouri Wine & Grape Board. “We are proud to join alongside our colleagues from around the United States and indeed the world in the important fight to ensure that all wine region names are protected and not abused. We look forward to championing our efforts with our Missouri representatives and those in Washington.”

In early 2018, the Wine Origins Alliance released a consumer survey that found that 94 percent of American wine drinkers support laws that would protect consumers from misleading wine labels. The survey, conducted by GBA Strategies from February 6-13, 2018, interviewed 800 American wine drinkers. The group also released a short film featuring winemakers explaining how the complete environment of a wine region’s location makes their wines unique.

“Yamanashi is the first recognized geographical indication by the Japanese government. Since 1874, we have produced great wines that cannot be reproduced anywhere else in the world,” said Shigekazu Misawa, Vice Chairman of the Yamanashi Wineries Association. “Yamanashi stands with its global partners to send a clear message that when it comes to wine, location matters. We look forward to telling our story beyond the Japanese borders and to governments across the globe.”

Since 2005, the Wine Origins Alliance efforts have led to increased attention around the protection of wine place names. Last year, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution, S. Res. 649, acknowledging the distinctiveness of American wine regions and AVAs and the contributions they provide to the U.S. and global economy. In 2019, the Alliance will work to get a similar resolution passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.