South African fortified wines to be de-ported

The quaint, mountain-ringed town on South Africa’s longest wine route proudly claims to be the country’s “port capital”. But Calitzdorp is soon to lose its title.

The word “port” will disappear from bottle labels by January 1 due to a European Union trade pact that it only applies to fortified wine from Portugal.

“From January 1, 2012, we won’t be allowed to use the name ‘port’ on the labels. But everything that has been bottled before next year can sell,” said Carel Nel, president of the South African Port Producers’ Association.

“We are not happy with it, but what can we do?” he said. “We only produce 200,000 to 300,000 cases a year, against more than 10 million cases in Portugal.”

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