France and Russia discuss labeling of champagne bottles
The dispute over the labeling of champagne bottles between France and Russia continues, this time with a favorable outcome.
French Foreign Trade Minister Franck Riester said Wednesday he was “quite optimistic” that France and Russia will find a favorable solution to their dispute over the labeling of champagne bottles.
“We are continuing discussions with the Russian authorities at the European and French level because we believe we can convince them that it is in their interest to participate in the fight for the protection of the designation of origin,” Franck Riester told reporters in Washington.
In late October, Paris obtained from Russia a two-month moratorium, until December 31, on the application of a recent Russian law that prevents champagne from using its own name in the Cyrillic alphabet. The law would force distributors to change the prestigious title “champagne” to “sparkling wine” on the back label of bottles written in Cyrillic, reserving the name “Champanskoye” for Russian sparkling wine producers.
Labeling of champagne bottles: Advantages of the resolution
The French minister noted that some Russian investors were also interested in Champagne. “I think they could be good messengers with the Russian administration,” he noted. “In general, I think Russia could share with us the importance of appellations of origin. So I’m quite optimistic for the future,” he concluded.
The minister recalled the importance of champagne for France. This drink is not only a symbol of the hexagon, but also an important component of foreign trade, he said. It is important that the appellation of origin remains visible on bottles so that customers in wine stores and restaurants continue to consume it.
Protected Designation of Origin
This provision of the Russian law had provoked strong indignation over the summer from champagne producers and distributors, eager to defend their protected designation of origin, as well as strong protests from several French ministers. The Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC), which had advised producers in early July to temporarily suspend exports to Russia in reaction to this new provision of the law, decided on September 11 to resume shipments to Russia as of September 15, in a gesture of appeasement.
Russia is, along with the United States and Haiti, one of the countries that do not recognize the appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) of “champagne”, despite twenty years of discussions.
Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.
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