Blog: Olly WehringMais non, le Kiwi est Francais!

Olly Wehring | 7 December 2005

While everyone knows how tough a time the winemakers in France have been having of late, the lengths to which they will go to protect their lot never cease to surprise. If it’s not firebombing wine cellars or disrupting internal transport services, it’s protecting their geographical heritage. But maybe, just maybe, they’ve gone too far with this one.

Kahurangi Estate, a wine maker on New Zealand’s South Island, has been threatened with legal action by France’s Lacheteau wine company this week. The reason? Lacheteau has registered the name ‘Kiwi Cuvee’ as a trademark, and will sue anyone selling wine with that name anywhere in the European Union, the New Zealand Herald has reported.

Kahurangi Estate, which makes a chardonnay called Kiwi White, has been exporting its wine to Sweden since before Lacheteau trademarked the name in May.

“It’s a case of the pot calling the kettle black,” Kahurangi founder Greg Day told the paper. “Here’s the French trying to protect Burgundy as a geographical indicator and saying we can’t use Kiwi.”


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