Santa Barbara County is joining 18 other regions around the world in an effort to protect place names in winemaking, having signed onto the Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place & Origin.

The movement, which was started in the Napa Valley back in 2005, aims to eliminate confusion for consumers and target misuse of names by producers who seek to benefit off illegitimate connections to certain regions. Santa Barbara joins the French regions of Bordeaux and Bourgogne/Chablis by signing in 2014; past signatories include the Napa Valley, Champagne, Rioja, Oregon, and Western Australia.

“Santa Barbara County wines, like all those represented in this coalition, are unique,” said Morgen McLaughlin, executive director of the Santa Barbara County Vintners Association, in a statement. “They can’t be duplicated anywhere else in the world and today we come together to recognize that nothing shapes a wine’s character like its location.”


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