French winemakers in uproar after new Russian law states champagne only comes from Russia

For the longest time, wine lovers knew the difference between champagne and sparkling wine.  Champagne only came from the French province of Champagne and anything that came from anywhere else was sparkling wine.

Well, a new Russian law signed by President Vladimir Putin has world winemakers balking.  The law basically states that only Russia makes champagne — known as “shampanskoye” — and all foreign producers, including those from Champagne, France, must label their goods as sparkling wine.

The law actually forbids foreign merchants to use the term “champagne” on their bottles.

France24 reports that French winemakers are calling on their colleagues to stop selling their goods in Russia and will seemingly challenge Russia’s law, saying champagne from Champagne has legal protection under France’s Controlled Appellation of Origin (AOC) law.

Maxime Toubart and Jean-Marie Barillère, co-presidents of the French champagne industry group, said, “The Champagne Committee deplores the fact that this legislation does not ensure that Russian consumers have clear and transparent information about the origins and characteristics of wine.”

However, Moët Hennessy — which makes Veuve Clicquot and Dom Pérignon champagne — buckled. The company said they will comply with the new law and add “sparkling wine” to their bottles.  In order to make the change, though, shipments have temporarily been suspended.