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Clement Arnoux (Aggelos)

Val de Travers obtains their protected appelation

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I would hope that for the sake of the folks at Matter, and others who are producing fine absinthe, that this rule/law is likely an new thing that will be fine-tuned. I can't imagine that the Swiss would punish their own

in such a way... the people at Artmesia-Bugnon for instance, seem to have absinthe's best at heart, and I can't imagine they would want to see other Swiss distillers punished in this way. I would suspect that the right to call something "absinthe" in their country would be defined regionally, rather than being so exclusive due to one area. "Absinthe du Val de Travers" makes perfect sense. This is like claiming the word "Wine" only to one region. If the region where absinthe was born was called " Val de Absinthe" or some such thing, It would be more understandable, but this is not the case. French wines are titled by region, I see nothing wrong with such regional labeling in other countries as well. That's like saying one can only make a taco in Mexico. For instance, "Absinthe de Newark" would work well if your from JOISEY!

 

Alan, what do you think of all this? Hmmm perhaps my pasting your face on that alien dude on the label of Duplais Balance for April Fool's day was ill timed? :poke:

 

 

Scott

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Apparently, from the emails I've received, this could also potentially effect absinthe throughout the EU (along with all brands who want to be sold in Switzerland), so there are many interested players.

 

I can't say much right now, but as info becomes available, I'll try to explain as much as possible.

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Since a few of you have invited me to comment, I feel it would be rude to ignore you much longer!

 

However I am not an official spokesman for the Swiss absinthe "interprofession," and I don't have access to that much information about this. It seems to me that this goes beyond just absinthe, and relates to bigger EU/Switzerland issues, e.g. free trade, product standards etc. Since I understand those issues less well (even less well?) than I understand absinthe, I don't think I can add much more than the above and a "No further comment" at this stage.

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[

Apparently, from the emails I've received, this could also potentially effect absinthe throughout the EU (along with all brands who want to be sold in Switzerland), so there are many interested players.

 

I can't say much right now, but as info becomes available, I'll try to explain as much as possible.

 

 

Not quite, translated to current European and Swiss right. [...]

European jurisprudence states (cassis de dijon case) that as long as the product is legal in any European country, there cannot be any restriction in another EU country on importing this product. Switzerland has (and the contrary is not true) agreed to this, and therefore, [european distillers] would [be] able to sell French Absinthe in Switzerland, even regardless on the restrictions on the production currently imposed in the IGP

 

Alan cannot speak for the inteprofession, but Bugnon could, as he's member of the committee

http://www.absinthe-interprofession.ch/comite.html

 

I'd talk with Yves Kübler though, vice-president

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Here is the press release from l'association Interprofessionelle de l'absinthe.

 

Google translation below:

 

Federal Department of Economic Affairs FDEA

Federal Office of Agriculture BLW

Plant Products Industry

 

Press release

Date 31/03/2010

 

 

 

Publication of the application for PGI

Absinthe, the Green Fairy and The Blue

 

Bern, 31.03.2010 - The Federal Office of Agriculture published today in the Swiss Swiss official trade, the demand for geographical indication registration cal (PGI) of the names "Absinthe", "Green Fairy" and "Blue".

 

The three names designate a single product, a spirit-devel Ree from ethyl alcohol, water and a mixture of specific plants. Their recording as PGI's objectives is to avoid imitation and usurpation tions and to protect the reputation as the original product. The geographical area Transformation is the district of Val-de-Travers in the canton of Neuchatel.

 

Born in Val-de-Travers in the late eighteenth century, this product has quickly gained success important, contributing to economic development in this region. Beyond its intrinsic value of taste, this book also owes its fame to several other ele- ments, including the complex rituals that accompany the tasting as well as the not- sion stirred by his supposed virtues and evils. Even the period of prohibition, which lasted from 1910 to 2005, was not enough to stifle the link between the product and its terroir Val-de-Travers. The reputation of absinthe has been growing, according to his soft-story vementée and myths that surround it.

 

The register of appellations of origin or geographical indications can protect geographical or traditional names designating agricultural products and products processed agricultural whose identity and key characteristics are determined by their geographical origin. When a name is protected, its use is restricted to pro- Producers of the defined geographical area, provided that they meet a specification precise specifications. The publication of applications for registration shall be subject to investigation public. Any person with a legitimate interest and the cantons may oppose registration for a period of three months.

 

The federal register of protected designations of origin and geographical indications currently includes ing 27 records: 19 PDO and PGI 8. The documentation is available www.blw.admin.ch (Themes> Production and Sales> Description of products and promotion Sales> Appellations of Origin).

 

 

Contact / Information: Michaël Würzner, Plant Products Industry, tel. +41 31 322 25 26; Isabelle Pasche, Unit Management Markets and International Affairs, Legal Department, tel. 41 31 322 25 39

 

 

File reference 2010-03-25/326 / WUM

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So, it appears we have a cat fight between the Swiss and the EU? If you want to screw something up real good, all you need to do is get lawyers and politicians involved. :rolleyes:

 

What little expendable income I have is dedicated to other projects anyway. Good luck Europe.

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Let's just see what happens after the dust settles.

It wouldn't be the first and certainly not that list time dumb shit was done

and then undone..

Oh this would be the perfect time for a political smart ass comment..

~smile~

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This would actually be a huge blow to a certain beverage mega-corporation, which is a good thing, as well as a certain grade of beverage from Eastern Europe. But the risk for collateral damage is too high, in my opinion. A lot of great producers would be negatively affected who aren't part of this war. It also shows what, and who, the Val-de-Travers producers are willing to sacrifice. I also think some VdT producers need to do a reality check and compare their mediocre absinthes to quality French absinthes before they start talking about protecting the reputation of the original spirit.

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This would actually be a huge blow to a certain beverage mega-corporation, which is a good thing, as well as a certain grade of beverage from Eastern Europe. But the risk for collateral damage is too high, in my opinion.

 

I wholly agree, and would add that this incident, which seems to be as much a pissing contest between VdT and the rest of the absinthe world as it is anything else, is just a distraction from the real need, which is a legal definition that defines the identity of absinthe. What's important is codifying absinthe as what it was historically (not liqueur, must contain A.a, anise flavor, etc), not where it should be geographically.

 

Now, instead of working toward that goal, producers in Pontarlier or in Switzerland but not in VdT will have to fight to have this geographical coup reversed. If they win, that will leave the door open for all of the players in Eastern Europe to continue producing swill and labeling it "absinthe" and it might also dampen enthusiasm for attempting any new legal definition.

 

I noted Alan's point that there are Switzerland-EU issues at stake in this, but it still seems to me that the heart of the matter is VdT stealing a march on their competitors.

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Could the VdT producers be looking to force a definition for absinthe in the EU by doing this? Even if so, I wouldn't be able to justify it against the weird regionalist manner they went about it. (grammar fail, I know)

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This is nothing but an attempt by the VdT producers to (legally) claim the word "absinthe" all to themselves and shut out other producers from being able to use the word absinthe. Very poor form on their part. This action by the VdT producers may, if pushed to the extreme, have a negative effect for absinthe producers no matter where they produce.

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I agree. Bad form, and a real weenie thing to do. Where's John Wayne when you need him? He'd go over there, sock 'em in the jaw, smile, help them up, buy them a big steak with a side of BBQ beans, and the whole thing would go away. (I'd offer to step in for JW, but I doubt tofu burgers would have the same effect.)

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It seems it is even worse than we expected. It's not just about selling absinthe now... I just heard that now any Swiss distillers NOT in the VDT, are not allowed to make absinthe, or drinks like it, at all! This could put Matter and others out of business. Hope this sorts itself out.

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Yes, this is the post from Marc:

 

 

For those of you who have followed the Swiss IGP story: if the IGP is voted (will it?), no producer in Switzerland (outside the Val-de-Travers) will be allowed to call his product "absinthe" or “Fée Verte” or “La Bleue” anymore, we know that already, but even worse: no producer outside the Val-de-Travers will be allowed to DISTILL absinthe or a similar product anymore. I've learned about it a few hours ago from an official representative in Switzerland.

I hope to get more details soon, especially about exporting absinthe out of Switzerland for non-IGP producers, will keep you informed.

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Perhaps this is a ploy: Threaten worse things, in order to get what they really want. Then, concede nonsense like this, that they know likely won't happen anyway.

Quite the chess game. Also, scrolling up a bit in this thread, I'd like to apologize for the silliness of some of my 2010 posts.

Over-eager newby, likely with a glass on the desk, who was happy to have found a place to make friends and going about it just a bit left of the bullseye, perhaps.

The irony of being annoyed by one's former posts is quite priceless. :g:

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>This could put Matter and others out of business.<

 

Actually, it wouldn't put Matter out of business, but would be very annoying...

Edited by pierreverte

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>This could put Matter and others out of business.

 

Actually, it wouldn't put Matter out of business, but would be very annoying...

So, would he just continue to distill, but do so under the auspices of making something that wasn't named absinthe?

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no producer outside the Val-de-Travers will be allowed to DISTILL absinthe or a similar product anymore

 

Has any spirit product ever been halted by an IGP before? Or any product at all?

It seems IGP's are all about protecting names,( not the products themselves).

 

This, if applied as such, seems without precedent anyplace.

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Some of them have a great deal of local pride. It's a very small area...

 

But attempting to win the game of absinthe through administrative fiat is weak-as-shit.

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I'm not worried at all. Either way, we'll end up winning: 1) the IGP falls flat-the-fuck on its face like it deserves to, and the rest of the world can prove its commercial value without the interference of policy; 2) the IGP sticks and extends its influence near and abroad - the artisan absinthe returns with all the allure and inescapable beauty it should always conjure... CO goes HG!

Edited by Grim

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Hopefully all this garbage from the VdT won't have an effect on USA distillers....

Marc, you guys need to really produce the absolute best absinthe you can and show these people what real passion is about.

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