Russia and France extend row of champagne labels to 2022 – .

Russia and France extend row of champagne labels to 2022 – .

The quarrel between France and Russia over the labeling of champagne and sparkling wines has just spread.
Russia has adhered to a two-month moratorium (until December 31) on the implementation of its recent law banning champagne (made in France and protected as an original product) from using its own name in Cyrillic on labels affixed to bottles sold in Russia.

“This does not solve everything, and we are determined to move the file forward definitively during this period of opening of the work”, declared the Minister of Foreign Trade Franck Riester in a written statement.

“We remain fully mobilized to protect our exporters, defend our geographical indications and promote our agricultural excellence,” he added.

Since July 2, a modification of the Russian law on the trade of alcoholic products obliges the distributors of champagne to exchange the prestigious title of “champagne” for that of “sparkling wine” on the label of the bottles written in Cyrillic, by reserving the name “Champanskoye” for Russian producers of sparkling wines.

Outrage, of course, ensued in northeastern France when champagne producers and distributors, anxious to protect their protected designation of origin, vented their outrage. Several French ministers followed suit and led the French government to threaten action at the World Trade Organization.

The Interprofessional Champagne Wine Committee (CIVC), which had advised producers at the beginning of July to temporarily suspend their exports to Russia in reaction to this new provision of the law, ruled on September 11 on the resumption of shipments to Russia at from September 15, in a gesture of appeasement.

Russia is, with the United States and Haiti, one of the only nations not to recognize the designation of origin (AOC) “champagne” despite twenty years of discussions.

A very old association

The relationship between Russia and Champagne, however, goes back well over two decades.

Prince Lev Sergeyevich Golitsyn is a name you may not be familiar with, but he pioneered the making of sparkling wine in Russia in the 19th century. After studying in France, he returned to his homeland in the late 1870s and bought a house with a large plot in Novyi Svet, Crimea. This land became dedicated to viticulture, and soon he cultivated a large number of varieties there. He even dug tunnels below sea level to house his cellars in order to keep them at a constant temperature.

The wine from this estate was served at the coronation of Tsar Nicolas II. Then in 1900, somewhat of a precursor to the 1976 Paris Judgment (where wines from the United States beat the best French vintages in a blind tasting), Golitsyn’s sparkling wine beat the French competitors. to win the Grand Prix de Champagne at the Paris Exposition.


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