European and US winemakers makers are to sign an accord to defend their appellations, according to press reports. Agence France Presse said today (26 July) that European winemakers will join with counterparts from California, Oregon and Washington to sign a pact known as "The Napa Declaration."

The alliance will mark the beginning of a campaign to "fortify the sanctity" of the names used for their products by teaching consumers what makes the vintages produced in each area, Sharon Castillo of Champagne USA, which represents the French region in the US, told AFP.

Speaking to the press agency, Castillo said: "This is not about politics, not about laws and regulations. It is about educating consumers and coming together as the great wine regions of the world.

"It is more than the signing of a declaration. It is about a commitment to teach the unique characteristics of each wine region so consumers can ultimately answer the question of where their wine comes from."