French champagne group denounces Russian law on “sparkling wine” label – .

Russian law ends the supply of French champagne – .

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                Le groupe français de l'industrie du champagne a fustigé lundi une nouvelle loi russe obligeant les producteurs de champagne étrangers à ajouter une référence au "vin mousseux" à leurs bouteilles et a appelé à l'arrêt des exportations de champagne vers la Russie. 

                                    <p>La nouvelle loi, signée vendredi par le président russe Vladimir Poutine, oblige tous les producteurs étrangers de vin mousseux à décrire leur produit comme tel sur l'étiquette au dos de la bouteille - mais pas sur le devant - tandis que les fabricants de "shampanskoye" russe peuvent continuer à utiliser ce terme seul.

The French champagne industry group called on its members to suspend all shipments to Russia for the time being and said the name “champagne”, which refers to the region of France where the drink comes from, benefits legal protection in 120 countries.

“The Champagne Commission regrets that this legislation does not guarantee Russian consumers clear and transparent information on the origins and characteristics of wine,” said group co-presidents Maxime Toubart and Jean-Marie Barillère in a press release.

French Trade Minister Franck Riester said he was following the new Russian law closely, in contact with the wine industry and France’s European partners.

“We will support our producers and French excellence without fail,” he said on Twitter.

<p><strong>'Le vrai champagne est fait en Champagne'</strong>

French producers are fiercely protective of the AOC, or Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée, which is supposed to give them exclusive use of the word in countries that adhere to the Lisbon Agreement on Distinctive Geographical Indications.

But Russia is not a signatory, and the new law signed by Putin prohibits the use of the Russian translation, “shampanskoye”, on imported bottles.

Moët Hennessy, French maker of LVMH-owned Veuve Clicquot and Dom Pérignon champagnes, announced on Sunday that it would begin adding the designation “sparkling wine” to the backs of bottles destined for Russia to comply with the law.

Shares of Russian sparkling wine producer Abrau-Durso were up Monday morning.

Abrau-Durso chairman Pavel Titov told FRANCE 24’s sister station Radio France Internationale (RFI) on Saturday that his company had no sparkling wines that would be called “champagne” in its portfolio and had said he hoped the issue would be resolved in favor of global norms and standards.

“It is very important to protect Russian wines in our market. But the legislation must be reasonable and not contradict common sense… I have no doubt that real champagne is made in the Champagne region of France, ”he said.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

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