EU court dismisses Slovenia's case over Teran wine
Since the name of the wine grape variety ‘Teran’ was also used in Croatia, Croatia had expressed its concerns, before its accession to the EU, about whether it could continue to use that name for labelling its wines after its accession, on account of the protection already afforded to the Slovenian designation.
After that accession, the European Commission then attempted, unsuccessfully, to find a negotiated solution between Croatia and Slovenia.
Finally, almost four years after the accession of Croatia to the EU, the Commission used its powers to adopt a labelling derogation in order to enable the PDOs and existing labelling practices to co-exist peacefully once a PDO is registered or applicable.2 It thus adopted the contested regulation in order to include the name ‘Teran’ in the list in Annex XV to Regulation No 607/2009.3 That annex contained the list of wine grape varieties which contain or consist of a PDO or protected geographical indication that may, by way of derogation, appear on wine labels.
The Commission adopted the contested regulation with retroactive effect as from the date of the accession of Croatia to the EU, on 1 July 2013.
It is also apparent from the contested regulation that the designation ‘Teran’ may be used to refer to a wine grape variety on the labels of wines produced in Croatia, but only for the designation of origin ‘Hrvatska Istra’, and on condition that ‘Hrvatska Istra’ and ‘Teran’ appear in the same visual field and that the font size of the name ‘Teran’ is smaller than that of the words ‘Hrvatska Istra’.
Pursuant to Article 2 of the contested regulation, Croatian wines with the Croatian PDO ‘Hrvatska Istra’ produced before the entry into force of the contested regulation may continue to be sold until stocks are exhausted. ■