Argument: Reserving Champagne name for France protects consumers


  • Margaret L. Wickes, “A Toast to the Good Life:Exploring the Regulation of Champagne”, April 2003 “Strict European Union rules aim to maintain the exclusive nature of the Champagne term and protect customers from deception. Following a challenge of these rules, the Court of Justice of the European Communities articulated that, “. . . the Council was entitled to regard it as essential that the final consumer should have accurate information. . . and that the producer should not derive advantage, for his own product, from a reputation established for a similar product by producers from a different region.”54 This rationale mirrors the reasons why France initially adopted regulations in the early twentieth century. Both the European Union rules and the French rules incorporate measures to preserve the Champagne reputation and safeguard consumers.”
  • Margaret L. Wickes, “A Toast to the Good Life:Exploring the Regulation of Champagne”, April 2003 “Regulations obligate producers to use specific techniques, ensuring that all wines labeled Champagne are created through similar methods. The production of Champagne through the official method, the Methode Champenoise, is both time-consuming and expensive, creating tremendous incentives to cut quality in pursuit of profit. Wine-makers comply with CIVC standards because they want to be able to prominently display the word Champagne on their bottles. Consumers rely on these labels, primarily because, “. . . one can hold that the strict laws of appellation ensure that there is no such thing as a bad champagne. . . ”23 Though opinions may differ as to whether all proper champagnes are good, the market power of the designation remains significant, no matter the taste of the wine. Rules with respect to region boundaries, the second fermentation process, dosages, the use of the term ‘vintage’ and pink champagne highlight how regulations have targeted certain aspects of the production process. The regulations also show the problems that arise due to certain rules and how the issues may be avoided. Finally, label regulations illustrate how the law governs the final product to ensure consumer protection.”