The Champagne Committee protests against the new Russian labeling law

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The champagne war is declared between Paris and Moscow. French professionals in the sector called on French companies on Monday to stop exports to Russia, while a new law provides for reserving the unique designation of champagne for national products only.

The Interprofessional Committee of Champagne Wine denounced, Monday, July 5, a new law in Russia which reserves for national producers the single appellation “champagne” on their bottles, while exporters must also write “sparkling wine” on their labels.

“Champagne is scandalized by the new Russian legislation relating to wine labeling,” wrote the Champagne Committee in a press release published on Monday, recalling the protection of the French appellation “Champagne AOC”, recognized in more than 120 countries.

Under the new Russian legislation, Champagne wines will be able to retain the right to use the name “champagne” in Latin characters on the main label. On the other hand, they will have to give up the term “Shampanskoe” – translation of champagne in Russian – and present themselves under the term “sparkling wine” in Cyrillic characters on the back label, explains the Champagne Committee.

Only Russian sparkling wines will now have the right to use the name “Shampanskoe”, adds the Committee. “To deprive the Champenois of the right to use the name ‘Champagne’ (in Cyrillic) is scandalous”, denounce Maxime Toubart and Jean-Marie Barillère, co-chairs of the Champagne Committee.

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“It is our common heritage and the apple of our eyes”, they add, inviting the Champagne companies to stop their deliveries to Russia until further notice. Solicited, Miriam Garcia Ferrer, spokesperson for the European Commission, said to be informed of the legislative change in Russia.

“This would have a huge impact on wine exports. We will therefore do whatever is necessary to express our disagreement and concern with the project,” she said. “We will do whatever is necessary to protect our rights and take the necessary measures if this law comes into force,” she added.

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With Reuters

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