Croatia claims true Teran is Istrian

30th April, 2013 by Patrick Schmitt

Istrian wine producers have fought back following attempts by Slovenia’s agriculture minister and the European Union to preclude Croatia from using the Teran grape on labels.

‘True Teran is Istrian’. Picture from Wines of Croatia

Olivier Arman from Franc Arman, who is one of Istria’s top Teran producers, has been lobbying through broadcast media to retain Croatia’s right to use the grape on bottles of wine sold within the European Union, and has registered the words “Teran is Istrian” as a trademark (“Teran je Istriajan” in Croatian).

As previously reported by the drinks business, Slovenia registered “Teran” as a PDO in 2009 for wine from the Kras region near the country’s border with Italy.

Croatia failed to object to this at the time, but with its accession to the EU in 1 July, the country will have to abide by the union’s laws.

As a consequence, after July, unless the dispute is resolved between the two countries, any Croatian wine labeled Teran that is sold within its own borders, and within those of the EU, will be illegal.

Last week, according to James Waddell, managing director of Croatian Fine Wines in the UK, Slovenian authorities had already ordered Croatian wine labelled Teran to be removed from shops.

Commenting on the situation, he said, “The Slovenian’s Teran brand grab is a desperate attempt to disrupt and destroy the supply of the internationally recognised world class Istrian Teran producers, when Croatia enters the EU.”

Continuing he explained, “Teran is not a region or a process of production, it is an indigenous grape found in Istria and Northern Italy, not Slovenia, and used to make Teran wine… The true Teran is Istrian.”

Indeed, Teran from Slovenia is more commonly identified as being from the Refošk grape, which is actually believed to have a different DNA.

Providing evidence that Teran and Refošk are different grapes, Judith Burns from wine importer Pacta Connect said that she brings in wine from a single producer who makes wine from both grape varieties.

“There has always been a lot of confusion over Refošk and Teran, and many people think they are the same grape. But we have one winemaker, Piquentum, who makes a Refošk and a Teran and that proves that they are two very clearly defined grapes in Istria.”

She also explained, “As our winemakers tell us, the Slovenes use Refosco (or Refošk) to produce Teran. The Istrians use Teran to produce Teran. In the ten plus years that we’ve been visiting both countries actually we have rarely seen Slovenian Teran, but have widely seen Istrian Teran. We have two Slovene winemakers now in our portfolio, neither of which uses Teran.

Burns also pointed out that Slovenia tried to block Croatia’s accession to the EU in 2009, which is just one of many political disputes between the two countries. “It is not the winemakers who are having the argument,” she pointed out.

Should Croatia be banned from using the term Teran in the EU, Burns said that some high profile UK customers would have to remove Croatian wines from their shelves or cellars, including The Hotel du Vin group and Harvey Nichols.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

New Business Development Manager Nordic

Concha Y Toro
Stockholm, Sweden

Experienced Administrator

The Drinks Business
Central London, UK

Sales Executive (London – Craft Spirits)

Bimber Distillery
London, UK

2 x Buying Assistants

Berry Bros. & Rudd
Battersea and Basingstoke, UK

Temporary Christmas Sales Support - Wines & Spirits

Harrods
Knighsbridge, London, UK

Head of Wholesale

Hispamerchants Ltd
London, UK

Sales Manager

Hispamerchants Ltd
London, UK

The World Bulk Wine Exhibition

Amsterdam,Netherlands
20th Nov 2017

The Drinks Business Green Awards 2017

London,United Kingdom
20th Nov 2017

The Global Spirits Masters Lunch

London,United Kingdom
1st Dec 2017
Click to view more

Green Awards 2017

Deadline : 25th October 2017

The Global Riesling Masters 2017

Deadline : 30th October 2017

Click to view more

Champagne Masters 2017

The only Champagne blind tasting in the UK, the competition will reward the best wines in the following categories:

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

Click to view more