Regional agreements of great importance
The Friulian winegrowers hope to be able to reach an agreement with their Hungarian colleagues over the rights to the name "Tokaji," or names that sound like it. Everyone of good spirit is of course familiar with the Hungarian grape, from which a variety of wines are made, but most famously the sweet dessert wine Tokaji Aszú. The Friulian "Tocai" is a dry white wine which is regionally popular and ideal, as ANSA helpfully points out in their report, with fish. The Italian winemakers point out that the Friulian white has used the name "Tocai" since the Middle Ages, and that they would have difficulty marketing their old wine under the proposed new name, "Friuliano." Enzo Marsilio, of the Agricultual Association of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, is "moderately optimistic" that a compromise can be reached. But the last word may have come from the European Court of Justice, which has ordered the makers of both the Friulian Tocai and the Alsatian Tokay Pinot Gris to find a new name by 31 March 2007.