SANTIAGO Chilean producers of a grape brandy
known as Pisco petitioned their government on Friday to stop an
Argentine producer from selling the product in Europe under the
same name, which Peru also claims as its own.
This latest episode adds a new wrinkle to the long-standing
Pisco dispute, one of several feuds between Chile and its
northern neighbour, Peru.
The U.N. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
lists Peru as the holder of the Pisco appellation of origin.
But Chileans, who drink great amounts of the liquor, are having
a hard time swallowing the notion of Argentine pisco.
"The pisco denomination is exclusive to Chile and they
cannot market any liquor under that name," said Fernando
Herrera of Chile's Association of Pisco Producers to reporters
Herrera and a group of producers presented their concerns
directly to Foreign Relations Minister Alejandro Foxley.
"We have an excellent team of professionals who are going
to defend Chile's right to the Pisco denomination of origin,"
Argentina and Chile are both big grape growers and wine
Argentine pisco is made by a company called Tapaus in
Mendoza province, which neighbours Chile. The company also
produces grappa, brandy and triple sec from grapes.
Regarding the dispute with Peru over the beverage, Foxley
referred to Chile's proposal to Peru several months ago that
the countries join forces to market Pisco internationally.
"What's best for Peru and Chile is to share the
denomination and even to jointly market the product in
international markets, but they (Peru) still maintain their
position as a competitor and are disputing the trade name."
Relations between the two countries have gone through
periodic cold spells ever since the 1879-1883 War of the
Pacific, when Chile seized a chunk of mineral-rich territory
Since then, the two countries have forged strong economic
ties but disputes have cropped up on everything from maritime
fishing rights to the origin of desserts and fruits.
(Reporting by Monica Vargas; writing by Lisa Yulkowski;
editing by Todd Eastham)