Who makes real slivovitz?

BELGRADE -- EU representatives decided not to get involved in "another Slavic dispute," this time, over slivovitz.

As far is the EU is concerned, there is no dilemma over who should claim slivovitz as their national spirit. It has already decided that certificates for the plum brandy should bear the name of the product, preceded by the geographic origin of its production.

Therefore, the European Commission last week granted Serbia a certificate for the production and export of “Serbian Slivovitz.”

Milica Stanojević, an adviser in the Agriculture Ministry, says that in line with EU regulations, the Czech Republic has lost exclusive rights to produce slivovitz under that name, as their national product will from now on have to bear the prefix “Czech.”

Serbia has applied for certificates for several types of grape and gentian brandy, bitters, as well as for “Šumadija Tea”, the Serbian version of distilled brandy.

Serbia could not claim wine brandy (vinjak) as its composition resembles French cognac, meaning that France would have to give the green light in this case.

Domestic producers welcome state policy in this sector. NAVIP Director Slobodan Lukić believes that the certificate will be of great benefit to his factory, seen as Serbia’s greatest exporter of wine and brandy.

The European Union is due to decide on certificates for other sorts of Serbian-made brandy by the end of the year.