France Sees Talks With Russia as Best Way to Resolve Champagne Row: Minister

By Reuters
July 11, 2021 Updated: July 11, 2021

EPERNAY, France—France sees continuing negotiations with Russia as the best way to resolve a dispute over champagne, French Trade Minister Franck Riester said on Friday.

Russia has adopted legislation which will require French producers to attach a label to the back of their bottles sold in Russia with the description “sparkling wine.”

By contrast, domestic producers of what is known in Russia as “shampanskoye” will not have to attach any such label.

“We are still analyzing the exact scope of this text, which is long, in Russian, with legal and linguistic subtleties,” Riester said.

“It’s probably not just a problem for champagne but for other appellations such as cognac.”

Shares in leading Russian producer Abrau-Durso jumped after the law came into force.

The name “Champagne” has protected status in more than 120 countries, which reserve its use for sparkling wine from France’s Champagne region.

The French government has warned it could seek redress through the World Trade Organization.

By Antony Paone