Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It's Even in the Treaty of Versailles

In my ongoing mission to spread the good word that not all sparkling wine is Champagne, I found the following tidbit of information really interesting:

"Though people often refer to all sparkling wines as Champagne, only sparkling wines produced in the Champagne region of France are the real deal. Indeed, in 1891, the Madrid Agreement, which dealt with the international registration of trademarks, declared that only wines originating from the Champagne region could use the name "Champagne" on their labels, and this was reiterated in the Versailles Treaty of 1919, after World War 1."

I had never heard this before though it figures that the French would work something like this into a major treaty. Though, the fact that they take their wine as seriously as they take their wars shouldn't really surprise any of us!

Until the next sniff, sip, quaff or pop of the cork,


Cheers,


Alli M.

8 comments:

elliej said...

I knew that.

OpusOne said...

I worked at a winery in upstate NY for a couple years. This particular winery used the word "Champagne" on their bubbly, and that became a frequent topic of conversation amongst customers.

The answer we gave was that this stipulation is in the Treaty of Versailles. BUT, (here's another bit of trivia): the US never ratified the Treaty! Nothing prevents any US producer from labeling sparkling wine as "Champagne" besides professional courtesy.

FWIW, my former employer now labels their product "Sparkling Wine."

Alli M. said...

Interesting addition. Thanks for sharing. Very good to know. Though I'm glad most producers outside of Champagne use Sparkling Wine. I know with a blog named "wineocracy" I should be more egalitarian about name usage, but I always liked the Champagne rule.

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