France and Russia plan talks to take fizz out of champagne dispute By Reuters
PARIS (Reuters) – France and Russia have agreed to talks to resolve a dispute over a new Russian law that forces French champagne makers to label their bottles as sparkling wine, the French agriculture ministry said on Saturday.
Every foreign supplier to Russia has been required since July to include the label “sparkling wine” on all bottles. The label “shampanskoye”, the Russian equivalent to champagne, can only be used by local producers.
French champagne producers were furious at this law and stopped shipments to Russia. French authorities threatened action at World Trade Organisation.
Julien Denormandie (French Agriculture Minister) stated that he was willing to cooperate with Sergey Levin, Russia’s deputy agriculture minister.
A ministry spokesperson said that this would include the creation of a working party consisting of officials from each country and representatives from industry.
This move follows French champagne producers who produce sparkling wine using grapes from the Champagne region in northeast France. Their label is currently protected in several countries.
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