Champagne will return to Russia under a different name

Why French manufacturers decided to abandon the historical name

Champagne producers from the region of the same name in France, which some time ago suspended supplies due to the requirement to be called sparkling wine in Russia, will resume export of the drink to our market on September 15. According to champagne, they did not want to put Russian consumers in an uncomfortable position on the eve of the upcoming New Year holidays. It turns out that the preservation of the historical name was not so important for them. The premium segment, which predominantly sells such wines, is a stable category of consumers. And to stop supplying your champagne on the eve of the winter holidays is to lose your market share. Obviously, the benefit is more important than the preservation of the historical name.

Deliveries of French sparkling wine will resume on 15 September. Let us remind you that on July 2, President Putin signed a law according to which the word “champagne” can be used only in relation to domestic wines. The rest of the producers must send their champagnes for certification and change their category to sparkling wine.

In response to this demand, the union of French champagne producers – Bollinger, Dom Pérignon, Veuve Clicquot and others – called on its members to freeze exports to Russia. Moët Hennessy, one of the largest champagne producers in the world, also announced the suspension of supplies due to new legislation.

Despite the fact that Champagne products occupy a small share of the Russian market, keep it a matter of principle and prospects, says Deputy Director of the RUSSTRAT Institute Yuri Baranchik. “Now French producers from the Champagne province sell about 1.5 million bottles of the drink per year on the domestic market, which is only 0.5% of the total volume of wines sold in Russia. But this is a high price segment and it is necessary to keep it, that is why the winemakers decided to rename their champagne to sparkling for this, ”he said. Indeed, the boycott of winemakers did not last long – only a few months.

Why did the French decide to come to terms with the Russian legislation on winemaking and voluntarily renounced the right to be called champagne on a geographical basis?

The premium segment, which mainly sells wines from France, is a stable consumer category. And stop supplying your champagne to our country on the eve of the New Year holidays means losing your market share here. That is why winemakers from Champagne have decided to humbly rename their wines from champagne to sparkling, says Artem Deev, head of the analytical department at AMarkets. This, in the end, is not important, but benefit is benefit. Note that the cost of champagne from France on our counters is usually above average the price starts from 2.5-3 thousand rubles for a bottle of 0.75 liters. But most Russians will still focus on cheaper domestic products. from the Krasnodar Territory or from the Republic of Crimea, our interlocutor believes.

“While these wines in the Russian market have a share of less than 1%, but there are prospects for development,” continues Deev. – A situation is emerging when the state actively supports domestic winemaking, and after various climatic problems, this has become especially important. In the Krasnodar Territory, individual farms due to hurricanes and downpours this summer may lose up to 80% of the harvest. Therefore, measures to support the industry (albeit at the expense of infringing on foreign manufacturers) will be relevant.

According to Anna Vovk, Chairperson of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry Committee on the Development of the Investment Environment for Business, the fact that Champagne this is the name of the region in France where sparkling wines are produced, knows 5 percent of the total population of Russia, and the same percentage can afford to buy it. Russian champagne has always been and remains a mass product in our country.

“Once upon a time we did not protect vodka by belonging to the country of origin. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, drinks called “vodka” appeared everywhere and everywhere. Russia lost its capital on this. The error should not be repeated. The position of our country in terms of preserving the Russian Champagne brand is very correct, ”the expert said.

Published in the newspaper “Moskovsky Komsomolets” No. 28624 of September 15, 2021

Newspaper headline:
Russia – the birthplace of champagne

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