The Court of Venice has ruled in favor of Valpolicella Wines Consortium in the dispute against the Amarone Families. The name of the association comprising 13 wineries of the great Venetian wine (Allegrini, Begali, Brigaldara, Guerrieri Rizzardi, Masi Agricola, Musella, Speri, Tedeschi, Tenuta Sant’Antonio, Tommasi, Torre d’Orti, Venturini e Zenato, www.amaronefamilies.it) is unauthorized and must be changed, and the association could be liable for unfair competition, particularly in reference to the use of the words "Amarone d'Arte" which, according to the adversaries, automatically denotes that the remainder of Amarone production would be “inferior”.
This is what WineNews discovered about the new chapter of a story that has stirred up Valpolicella for years (https://goo.gl/sTBckK, https://goo.gl/uzWhSc), and now the day of reckoning has arrived.
The Court has accepted the requests of the Consortium against the Families, and confirmed that “it is not possible for a private individual to register a trade mark which contains a protected designation of origin, or a traditional reference, or a collective brand”, as the Consortium had claimed when it initiated the case in 2015.
The verdict, though, could have a much wider impact, going even beyond the borders of Valpolicella, due to the large number of producer associations that have been founded in some of Italian wine’s most prominent territories in recent years; for instance, "academies", "alliances”, "Masters" and so on, that as private companies use an Italian wine denomination in their name, next to words of praise. And, apparently, according to the law this is not allowed.
At the moment, the verdict is being scrutinized by both the Consortium and the Amarone Families (who have not made any statements at this time) that want to understand motivations and specific aspects before taking the next steps in a story which in whatever way one looks at it could be a watershed in the Italian wine world’s organizations and businesses.
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