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Hungary not to share Tokaji brand name

Hungary has rejected an Italian offer targeting continued use of the traditional Hungarian Tokaji brand name for wines, Agriculture Minister József Gráf said on Friday. Talking to wine farmers in the northeast Hungarian Tokaj region, Gráf said Italian wine growers had approached Hungary with a proposal of paying “several million euros” if the country granted approval to their continuing to sell wines produced in the Friuli region under the name Tocai. Distributing wines under similar labels would create complications on the world market, the minister said, adding that it would also make it difficult to retain control over the Hungarian brand name outside Europe. Under a European Court decision passed in May last year, Italy must stop marketing its wines as Tocai as of March 31, 2007.