The Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV) has told the European Commission to demand that the US totally renounce the use of semi-generic indications such as Champagne, Chablis and Château.

Europe's wine trade body made the call earlier this week ahead of talks between the EU and the US on a new free trade agreement. The negotiations are set to kick off in Washington on 19 May and are expected to last four days.

In the case of the term, Château', Alain Mouiex of Bordeaux's Château Fonroque, said the term belongs to Bordeaux and its finest wines. "If the Americans want to develop their own wines” Mouix told French television this week, “they can do better than draw on our heritage."

CEEV president Jean-Marie Barillère said the EU wine sector should not settle for a conservative and defensive approach (in relation to the US) but adopt an offensive position in order to maintain, if not increase, its market shares and commercial outlets. "We should look forwards, not backwards,” he said.

To read the CEEV's official statement, click here.