Russia Delays Champagne Label Law

Russia has agreed to delay for another two months a law preventing French champagne from using its own name on bottles sold in Russia.

The law, now postponed to take effect on Jan. 1, will require imported French and other foreign fizz to be labelled as “sparkling wine” in Russia’s local alphabet instead of the local name “shampanskoye”.

The local version of “champagne” will be reserved to Russian producers, a move that the French champagne industry interpreted as taking advantage of the product at their expense.

French Trade Minister Franck Riester welcomed the “good news” of Russia’s moratorium on the wine law’s implementation in a tweet on Oct. 26. “We will continue our efforts to protect our exporters in the long term,” Riester wrote.

Earlier this year, the legislation has angered France where champagne is protected as an original product. Russia is one of the few countries that do not recognize the decades old appellation of origin (AOC) for “champagne”.

The French champagne industry stopped exporting to Russia in response to the law, but resumed in September as talks between Paris and Moscow began.

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