Only Russian fizz can be called Champagne, says Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law stating that only Russian winegrowers can sell wine labeled “Champagne” in Russia, and French champagne will be classified as “sparkling wine”.
The direct challenge to the French champagne industry comes as a deadline approaches following a legal battle in 2010. It was then judged that Russian Crémants (sparkling wines made using the Champagne method) which used the word “Champagne” on their labels since Soviet times, must stop doing so by 2022.
The trade body, the Champagne Committee, said: “We are working very hard to provide a response to the Russian situation and will issue a statement soon.”
French luxury goods group LVMH, which sells Dom Pérignon, Ruinart, Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Krug and Mercier champagnes, reportedly sent letter to its Russian distributors saying it would no longer sell champagne in Russia as a result .
The Sud Ouest newspaper reported that it had received confirmation of a letter suspending sales of LVMH champagne in Russia from AST, one of the leading wholesalers of wines and spirits in Russia.
This was followed by a statement in which the AST said the measure was “temporary” until a suitable solution could be found.
Last year, 245 million bottles of champagne were exported worldwide, a decrease of 16% compared to 2019, this decrease being attributed to the Covid crisis.
Last year, overall sales, including in France, were around € 4 billion, up from € 5 billion in 2019.
Russia is the 15th largest champagne export market and in 2020 1.8 million bottles, worth an estimated 35 million euros, were exported to the country.
The Champagne Committee is proactive in the courts to prevent anyone from using the word champagne to sell sparkling wine, if the wine is not made from grapes grown in the AOC Champagne region.
One of his latest victories came last month, after a 20-year-old court bottle prevented winemakers in the Swiss village of Champagne from selling their still wine labeled as Champagne commune wine.
Charles Goemaere, chief executive of the Champagne Committee, told Connexion that legal action was needed to protect the livelihoods of the 20,000 producers and other workers who made the famous French sparkling wine.
“We are very proud of our wine and know how important it is for people around the world to know that if they are buying a bottle of champagne, they know they are buying a high quality product that is made according to rules and procedures. strict.
“If we let anyone use the Champagne name, there is a risk that buyers will be disappointed with poor quality products.”