Chile has lost an age-old battle with Peru over the claim of pisco, the national drink of both countries, but the EU-Chile Free Trade Agreement of 2002 has already attributed Pisco to Chile.
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM–According to the European Commission, Peru is the homeland of Pisco, the famous grape brandy. While both Chile and Peru claim Pisco to be the national drink, this now means that Peru enjoys special protection within the European market. This is useful, as Pisco is a major export product of Peru, with numbers having risen in the past years and one of the main importers being France. Ironically, the second largest importer is Chile.
The age-old dispute over Pisco is mainly about the origins of In July of 2009, Peru applied for registration of Pisco in the EU as a geographical indication. This would mean an exlusive right for Peru to use the label of ‘pisco’, claiming that it comes from the Pisco-making region of Peru, particularly the city of Pisco, and includes several strict criteria for the method of production.
Chile on the other hand claims that pisco is a generic term for this type of grapy brandy which is produced in the 3rd and 4th regions, particularly in the Elqui and Coquimbo areas. However, Chile will still be able to export pisco to Europe.
Another dispute is about the origin of the ‘Pisco Sour” cocktail, which is popular in both Chile and Peru, but was apparently invented by an American in Peru. It is made with egg whites, syrup, lime juice and Angostura.
While the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has released a jubilant statement, the Asociación de Productores de Pisco Chileno have already responded to this incident with outrage, claiming its falsehood due to the recognition of Chilean pisco by the EU through the 2002 EU-Chile Free Trade Agreement.
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