In response to the TEMEQUILA post below, someone wrote “If they can sell U.S. grown BASMATI rice, why can’t they sell U.S. grown TEQUILA?” Well, first I’ll say that the ability to refer to rice grown in the U.S. as BASMATI is likely not a done deal but in any event, the situations are not analogous. BASMATI refers to the variety of rice that is found in various parts of Pakistan and India, and not to a geographic region. With TEQUILA, blue agave is the type of plant from which the distillate is obtained, and TEQUILA refers to the original region in the Jalisco state of Mexico where particular blue agave is found (although the region covered by the appellation has been expanded to include a larger area than the Tequila region).
The U.S. distiller is allowed to indicate that its product is derived from blue agave. Incidentally, the U.S. distiller doesn’t appear to contest its inability to use TEQUILA, rather the issue will be whether TEMEQUILA blue agave misleadingly suggests that it comes from the Tequila region.