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Published:  23 July, 2008

A revised wine agreement between the EU and Australia could be signed early next year, according to Warren Tuss, Australia's Minister of Agriculture. Expressing hope for the current negotiations, and underlining the crucial role of Australian wine exports to the EU (now worth more than E565 million), he said, It is crucial that we maintain and improve our access to this important market,' (reports La Journe Vinicole, 27 November). Among the issues still unresolved by the current (1994) pact are a fixed date for the phasing out in Australia of European geographical names (such as Chablis and Champagne), protection of other traditional terms, and mutual recognition of winemaking practices. In another move designed to promote Brand Australia in the EU, the Australian Wine Export Council plans to open its third European bureau in Holland, probably in The Hague. To be directed by a Dutchman, Marco Triggerman, it will follow the office established in Frankfurt nine years ago, and the one opened in London in 1986.