The European Union (EU) Council of Ministers was expected to give its formal blessing today (20 December) to the long-negotiated wine trade deal struck in September between the US and the European Commission.

There has been some opposition to the agreement within Europe, notably amongst Champagne houses opposing the agreement's approval of grandfather rights allowing US wine makers to continue using EU geographical terms, such as their own (and Burgundy, Chablis, Sherry, etc).

However, this is not expected to prevent the council approving the deal, which will be followed up with fresh negotiations seeking a comprehensive agreement on geographical indications.