Brussels, February 13 (MTI) – The European Court of Justice on Thursday turned down a Hungarian appeal against an earlier ruling concerning the registration of a Slovak wine brand containing the name of Hungary’s historic wine-growing Tokaj region.
In its ruling, the court said that Slovakia’s registering its “Vinohradnicka oblast’ Tokaj” in the European database was “not appealable”.
In November 2012, the European Court ruled against Hungary’s request to erase the related Slovak entry from “E-Bacchus”, an electronic database containing a register of designations of origin and geographical indications protected in the EU.
In a 2004 agreement, Hungary and Slovakia established that the Tokaj wine-growing area forms a cross-border region, and pledged to agree as soon as possible on uniform methods of production and quality control, as well as to specify the exact borders of the Slovak wine-growing region.
These issues, however, are still bones of contention between the two countries. With uniform regulations missing, Hungary has insisted that the two areas should be considered as separate wine-growing regions so that wines marketed under the Tokaj label but failing to meet the strict Hungarian standards should not harm the brand of wines made in Hungary.