A scotch whisky distiller, when asked recently if he made any blends, was gloriously sniffy and dismissive of blended whisky. It would have been interesting to see and hear what he would have made of the Johnnie Walker Directors Blends, which I got to taste last Thursday (November 28) in London.
Napa Valley is the first region outside China to be recognised with this designation. The news follows Brazil's recognition of the GI earlier this month.
Linda Reiff, Napa Valley Vintners' executive director said: "We are thrilled by the news that China, an economic world power and growing wine importer, has decided to grant Napa Valley this status, and we are honoured to learn that we are the first winegrowing region outside of that country to achieve it.
"The Chinese government’s official recognition is an historic milestone for the Napa Valley appellation and testament to the global respect for our region's reputation and high-quality wines. This is a 'win' for Napa Valley and a 'win' for the Chinese consumer."
The NVV made the request directly from the trade association to the government, as it did with the European Union. The process took a number of years. "The Chinese market is only going to increase in importance to us in the coming years. We needed to make sure we were safeguarding our brand and its reputation. It's clear that they see the value in this from both the prospective of the producer, but also from the prospective of the consumers in China," said Cakebread Cellars' president Bruce Cakebread, who actively participated in the negotiations.
Napa Valley has also received GI recognition in India, Thailand and Canada.
The Napa Valley Vintners is the non-profit trade association responsible for promoting and protecting the Napa Valley appellation. It represents more than 430 wineries.