California, CalTrade Report, California international, California global, wine, European Union, Wine Institute - GERMANY WANTS WINE ''PURITY''../">CalTrade ReportAsia Quake Victims BRUSSELS, Belgium – 12/21/05 – Germany is asking the European Commission to extend the reach of the recent US-EU wine agreement by imposing a ''purity law'' to protect European wines from certain US production practices; the transatlantic wine trade is worth some $2.8 billion a year with most US exports produced in California. - BRUSSELS, Belgium – 12/21/05 – Germany is asking the European Commission to extend the reach of the recent US-EU wine agreement by imposing a ''purity law'' to protect European wines from certain US production practices; the transatlantic wine trade is worth some $2.8 billion a year with most US exports produced in California. - GERMANY WANTS WINE ''PURITY'' LAW California, CalTrade Report, California international, California global, wine, European Union, Wine Institute - GERMANY WANTS WINE ''PURITY''../i/shim.gif

Saturday, October 28, 2006

 

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Page Two

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GERMANY WANTS WINE ''PURITY'' LAW

BRUSSELS, Belgium - 12/21/05 - The European Union approved a trans-Atlantic agreement on US-made wine imports into the European market recently, but Germany has reportedly called for the imposition of a "purity law" to protect EU-produced wines from US vintners' practices such as adding water to dilute alcohol content and aging wine with woodchips to improve flavor.

German Farm Minister Horst Seehofer said that a new EU code needed to be applied to assure the quality of European wines and that the practices "are just unimaginable in our wine culture."

EU officials said it might be the wave of the future, though, since the EU-US agreement would validate the right of American companies to export wines based on their production techniques. 

The EU is even moving toward considering wood chip practices.

Tradition-bound Europeans prefer to use expensive oak barrels to age wine and to produce a distinctive toasty, smoked vanilla flavor.

However, adding wood chips achieves virtually the same results and only costs a fraction of using barrels.

Germany, Austria, Portugal, and Lithuania opposed the original EU-U.S. agreement, but the deal still went through since it did not need unanimity, EU officials said.

The transatlantic wine trade is worth some $2.8 billion a year with most US exports produced in California.

Two months ago, European lawmakers accused the US industry of cheapening wine by using the new methods, with Seehofer telling media sources that he feared genetically modified products could end up in the wine "without showing on the label."

Under the deal reached by EU and US negotiators in Washington in September, the two sides will mutually recognize each other's winemaking practices, setting the stage for more detailed talks on protecting geographical indications and the status of low alcohol wines.

Faced with the new agreement, Italy has asked for a change in EU law to allow the use of wood chips. The EU has already allowed scientific testing but the practice is still banned commercially.

Many EU member states have said they want to approve the deal to avoid burdensome certification procedures that might further slow sluggish sales outside of Europe.

The White House has asked Congress to change the status - and limit the use of 17 European names on American wines such as Burgundy, Chablis, Champagne, Chianti, Sherry and Tokay that until now have been considered "semi-generic" in the US.

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MEXICO LIFTS CALIFORNIA LETTUCE BAN

MEXICO CITY, Mexico – 10/20/06 – The weeks-old ban on California lettuce shipments to Mexico has been lifted after US Department of Agriculture tests for the E. coli bacteria proved negative; California is the country’s leading producer of lettuce with an estimated 70-75% of the total US production of iceberg lettuce and between 80-85% of the leaf lettuce.


NAPSTER ENTERS THE JAPANESE MARKET

LOS ANGELES – 10/16/06 – Napster, the digital music service provider, has entered the Japanese market with the introduction of a new subscription model that allows subscribers, who until now acquired digital music by paying for each track and album individually; currently, Japan is largest music market in the world outside of the US.


GUESS? IN NEW MEXICAN JV

SAN FRANCISCO – 09/29/06 – Fashion marketer Guess? has inked a manufacturing and marketing joint venture agreement with Mexico’s Grupo Axo; the Mexico City-based company will engage in the production, wholesale distribution and retail sale of Guess? fashion apparel, accessories and other related products throughout the country.


GOOGLE BELGIUM TAKEN TO COURT

BRUSSELS, Belgium – 09/20/06 – Internet search engine Google has been ordered to cease reproducing articles from French-language publications in the news sections of its Belgian website; the court order threatens the company with a fine of $1.3 million daily if it does not comply.


NEW OAKLAND INTERMODAL FACILITY PLANNED

OAKLAND – 09/11/06 – The 425-acre former Oakland Army Base will be converted into the Port of Oakland’s newest intermodal rail yard under the terms of an agreement reached between the port and several local and state government agencies; the planned OHIT – or Outer Harbor Intermodal Terminal – is expected to significantly reduce container transfer times, increase throughput, and reduce truck traffic in and around the port when completed within the next several years.


INTEL MAY LAYOFF THOUSANDS

SANTA CLARA – 09/04/06 – Chipmaker Intel is reportedly planning to announce a massive layoff within weeks that could eliminate as many as 10,000 jobs or one-tenth of the company’s total global workforce; the move was spurred by several financially disappointing quarters and the results of an internal corporate analysis conducted in April.



 



 


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