Are there chateaux in the U.S.? For French winemakers, non

American winemakers want to be allowed to put "chateau" on bottles imported by Europe. French vintners feel threatened.

The culture wars over wine continue as French winemakers oppose U.S. winemakers' request to use the words "chateau" and "clos" on the labels of American wine imported by Europe.

Until now, such usage has been banned. The term is used mainly on wines from Burgundy in eastern France; American vintners use the term plenty here, to evoke the Old World. (Of course, the word vintner is derived from the French language, too.)

For the French, there are no chateaux in the United States, évidemment. (And don't you dare mention those McMansions. Horrible.) Traditionally, French winemakers reserve the use of the above terms for a certain geography, pedigree and quality of wine.

Edward Cody reports for the Washington Post how a committee of the European Commission -- the 27-nation executive body of the European Union -- will vote on the request as early as tomorrow.

"They're trying to steal our reputation," [winemaker Dominique] Haverlan said during a tour of his sun-splashed property. "The real chateaux, they're certainly not in the United States."

At odds: history, cultural identity, branding and globalization. Should there be a statute of limitations on the use of foreign languages to describe domestic products? (Nevermind the fact that some Burgundian vineyards are now owned by Americans, English, Japanese and Chinese.) And what might the wineries of Louisiana, that New World outpost along with Quebec, say on the matter?

‘Chateau’ isn’t made in America, French vintners say [Washington Post]

Photo: Thomas Sauzedde/Flickr

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com