Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Champagne Campaigns for Champagne Against "American Champagne"

When I was a little kid I remember my father taking a bottle of alcohol and laughing. He showed me the bottle and pointed to the label which claimed it was champagne from California. "Champagne only comes from Champagne, France! If it is from anywhere else it is just bubbly wine!" he told me. I filed that as interesting geographic trivia and have not thought much about it since.

The wine producers in Champagne, France and the French government have known that piece of trivia for a long period of time. Now they are acting upon it. A new campaign has been launched by Champagne and joined by other wine producing regions like Napa Valley to create laws in the United States that would restrict the use of place names in wine labels. That way no Kansas wine could call be sold as "sherry" and no New York wine could be a champagne.

The wine producers point out that location matters. Temperature, soil, and climate all impact the grapes growth and chemical structure and thus make the wine what it is.

These foreign giants have already succeeded in passing European Union laws in limiting naming rights. However, the bill in the United States has to get past domestic wine producers who freely name wines whatever they want. The big names though have joined the campaign so it is possible for it to succeeded.


torgo jr. said...

interestingly, under the proposed legislation it would still be allowable to refer to Kansas wine as a "cleaning product(s)"

Catholicgauze said...

Torgo Jr,
Windex would sue.