Paris Hilton, Brussels in tussle with Italy over wines name

January 5th, 2008 - 3:11 pm ICT by admin  

London, Jan 5 (ANI): Wine connoisseurs in Italy are fighting to defend what they claim is their heritage against a twin threat from Hungary and the hotel heiress Paris Hilton.

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg had ruled that Hungary but not Italy could use the term Tokai, Tocai or Tokaj, although wine producers in Friuli-Venezia Giulia have been using it for centuries.

The fight with Paris Hilton, meanwhile, is over a drink called Rich Prosecco and its advertising campaign featuring the socialite wearing nothing but a coating of gold paint, in imitation of the actress Shirley Eaton in the James Bond film Goldfinger.

The reason behind the protests is that Hilton has not only used the name prosecco, which Italians regard as their copyright, but also, sacrilegiously, put the drink in a can and mixed it with fruit juice.

Hiltons defence to the case is that Rich Prosecco is not being marketed in Italy.

Gunther Aloys, the businessman who created Rich Prosecco, said that she was pleasant and uncomplicated. Nobody embodies carefree lust for life as convincingly and glamorously as Paris Hilton.

However, in Treviso, one of the centres of Italian prosecco production, winemakers are not amused.

Fulvio Brunetta, head of the Treviso branch of Coldiretti, the farmers union, said that Hiltons drink was an insult.

However, he said that he had nothing against Hilton.

But she is . . . creating a generation of consumers who will forever associate the name of prosecco with something similar to an alcoholic fruit drink, TimesOnline quoted him, as saying.

Hungarians say that only wine made in the Tokaj region of Hungary, where wine has been produced for 1,000 years, has a legitimate claim to the name.

The Friuli-Venezia Giulia branch of Federdoc, an association of wine producers, says ”the situation has become unacceptable.

“It would almost be comical if it was not so serious from so many points of view,” the association said. ”As it stands today, chambers of commerce which must register the Friuli wine for 2008 cannot do so because they don’t know what to call it, the association said. (ANI)

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