France, I feel your ‘pagne. Champagne.
How many millions of people have raised a toast with bubbles in hand, slugged back the contents of the flute and cheered with a resounding: “Excellent Champagne,” when it was, in fact, Villa Spinelli from Asti Spumante or Domaine Carneros from California? Both are made no where near the north of France where the precious soil of Champagne has been cultivated since 79 A.D.
Oh the insult!
Villa Spinilli and Domaine Carneros are at no fault. They don’t call their sparkling wines (the preferred term) Champagne. However, some interlopers have seized the famous brand/region and created an industry based on Champagne’s reputation.
Fortunately, after twenty years of quibbling the U.S. and France have reached an interim agreement on GI’s (geographical indicators). The interim agreement is a holder until the permanent agreement negotiated in September of this year is implemented.
So drink better knowing your Champagne is Champagne.