The WSTA said there have been discussions within English wine circles over what to call its sparkling sector

The WSTA said there have been discussions within English wine circles over what to call its sparkling sector

A UK wine trade body has criticised an attempt to secure official protected geographical status for English sparkling wine under the name "British Fizz".

The Times reported yesterday that the UK Vineyard Association has applied for a Protected Geographical Indicator (PGI) for the term as part of a marketing drive. If successful it would mean that only sparkling winemakers with grapes grown in England, Wales, or Scotland could use the term British Fizz on their labels.

However, the Wine & Spirit Trade Association today called the UK Vineyard Association's move a "sideshow" that could divert attention from the UK wine industry's attempts to secure a better deal from Brexit talks. The body added that there is "no need" for a Protected Geographical Indicator for English wine and attacked UK Vineyard Association's unilateral attempt to force a name change.

The WSTA admitted that there had been much discussion among those operating in the English sparkling wine sector on whether there should be a generic name for its product, and that most in the industry "recognise that a catchy shorter name could help to boost exports".

But, it added: "The WSTA would like to see English sparkling wine makers taking a decision to get behind an agreed generic name. There's no need for a PGI application in order to do this."

Earlier this week, the UK drinks industry broadly welcomed a speech by the country's Prime Minister regarding the UK's pending departure from the EU. The WSTA praised Theresa May's wish to maintain tariff-free access with Europe.