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China Recognises Champagne as the Bubbly Nation

Posted: Wednesday, 29 May 2013 12:07

China Recognises Champagne as the Bubbly Nation

May 29: While Russia and the USA continue to insist to produce ‘Champagne’ and India fell in line several years ago under the threat of lawsuits, China has now taken the step to ban the word used on their locally produced wines and recognized that the sparkling wines produced only in Champagne have the right to be called as champagne

Click For Large ViewThe new recognition comes as a major success for the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC), a trade association comprised of grape growers and wine makers from the Champagne region, who have campaigned to safeguard their product from being confused with other types of sparkling wine. In other words, it isn’t champagne unless it was made in Champagne. “This status gives wines from Champagne the most expansive and efficient protection against any kind of abuse,” the CIVC said in a statement published on Monday. The new restriction will enable the organization to seek action against mislabeled products more effectively, reports France24.

More than two million bottles were sold in China in 2012, marking a 52% increase from the previous year. While, relatively speaking, champagne sales in China do not yet compare with that of the top three markets (France, UK and the USA), increasing demand has made it the fifth-largest consumer outside of the European Union. Champagne has not done well recently, with global sales declining 4.4 % in 2012, according to the CIVC. As the market lags in several countries, including France, China has emerged as an exception to the rule. India has seen a steady growth with the market pegged at 35,000-40,000 cases (9 liters) with Moet Chandon as the clear brand leader.

Champagne region spends millions of Euros to protect its Geographical identity through CIVC which not only educates the people about their GI rights but also goes with hammer and tongs after the countries that do not fall in line. In India, Champagne Indage had to change its name to Indage Vintners. When Sula brought out its bubbly-it was Sula Champagne-changed to Sula Brut in a very short period. When Zampa announced that it would call its sparkling wine Zampagne, not much time was lost to stop that before the product came out, though reportedly the labels had been reported printed. Australia, Chile fell in line-so did South Africa which chose the name of MCC-Methode Cape Classique for the wines made with the Classic method of double fermentation. Other countries and regions outside Champagne are also not permitted to call it ‘Methode Champenoise’ where the second fermentation is in the bottle.

Champagne producers have long fought to get the United States, the industry’s second-largest consumer worldwide, to fall in line with the rest of the world in the misuse on the label. While use of “Champagne” is limited in the US, where sparkling wines registered after 2006 are prohibited from using  the name, the older producers are allowed to call the wines as ‘Champagne’ by mentioning the name of the region of production. Thus Korbel markets the product as California Champagne even as it fetches a third the price of Real McCoy.

“I hope that the USA and Russia, which insist on calling their sparkling wines ‘champagne' will follow China’s remarkable example,” CIVC has said on Twitter.



Bruce Cakebread Says:

Hi Subhash Hope all is well, in your article about China recognizing Champagne, it should be noted that Napa Valley was the first wine region in the world to be granted GI status recognition by the Chinese govt in 2012, also that India is out in front on this issue by granting GI status recognition to Napa Valley years before. Of course NVV continues to work with wineries on the use of the term Champagne and other terms like this within our region. Other happenings in Napa Valley, Auction Napa Valley is here this weekend with festivities starting today and going through Saturday PM. All the monies raised from the auction goes to community health and children education within Napa County. This will be its 33rd year. The Auction has raised over $110M since it started in 1981. Best regards Bruce

Posted @ May 31, 2013 10:16


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