Champagne producers do not stomach Russian protectionism

A new Russian law reserves the term 'shampanskoye' for domestic sparkling wine. French champagne brands now have to use the term 'sparkling wine' on the label, which is going down the wrong way...



On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law requiring all foreign producers of sparkling wines to use the term 'sparkling wine' on the back label - in Cyrillic script. The Russian term 'shampanskoye' will be reserved for domestic producers. In a reaction, the French Champagne Committee calls the law "scandalous": the Champagne designation of origin has been protected since 1843 and is recognised in more than 120 countries.


The organisation calls on its members to temporarily suspend exports of champagne to Russia and, in the meantime, asks the French government and the European Union to intervene. However, there is no unanimity: luxury group LVMH, owner of champagne brands such as Moët et Chandon, Veuve Cliquot and Dom Perignon, has already said it is temporarily suspending deliveries in order to comply with the labels. "Moët Hennessy's champagne houses have always respected the legislation in force wherever they operate and will resume deliveries as quickly as possible once these adjustments have been made", the company said.


Russia is only the fifteenth export market for champagne producers, accounting for an annual volume of two million bottles out of a total of 150 million sold outside France.