Light at the End of a Tunnel for Istrian Teran?

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Citing unnamed sources in Brussels, several Slovenian media reported on Wednesday that the European Commission had requested Croatia to temporarily put a new bill on hold which would allow Croatia to label wine showing the sort of grape used to produce it.

We have written about the teran-conundrum on several occasions, and it boils down to Slovenia having protected teran as its indigenous wine variety in 2004, thus prohibiting Istrian producers from marketing the teran wine under that name, although the variety has been grown in Croatian Istria for centuries.

The newest unconfirmed proposal would allow Croatia to label its teran wine – “Hrvatska Istra” and “teran” in smaller font, in order to distinguish Slovenia’s refošk wine and Croatia’s teran wine which originates from Istria. Brussels is unhappy that Ljubljana and Zagreb have failed for two years to find a solution to the dispute and that the EC will launch proceedings for a compromise decision. Slovenia has not agreed to such a proposal and has asked that Croatia continues to be barred from marketing teran wine in the European Union but also on the Croatian market.

Slovenia’s Agriculture Minister Dejan Židan reacted sharply to the recommendation of a compromise solution to the dispute over teran wine, which has marred otherwise good cooperation between Slovenia and Croatia in agriculture. “I will be very disappointed if an exception is made to allow Croatia to use that protected trademark and we will use all legal means to protect Slovenian producers. If that exception happens, the EU’s reputation will fall in Slovenia,” Židan told Slovenian Radio, adding that Slovenia might sue the EC and that this was the opinion of the entire political leadership in the country. He added that it’s unacceptable for such exceptions to be made over three and a half years after Croatia’s accession to the EU. Židan said that he planned to meet with European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan and other European colleagues to defend Slovenia’s interests and Slovenia’s Teran wine from the Kras region, and that he has informed the Prime Minister Miro Cerar of the reports, and that he expects the Slovenian government to discuss the issue on Thursday.

Croatian counterparts have still not commented on the proposed compromise.


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