Champagne makers have won a 20-year court battle to stop the Swiss village of Champagne from selling labeled wine wine from the commune of Champagne – but say they have about 1,000 other name protection legal cases pending.
The village, which has 1,048 inhabitants and 28 hectares of vines, produces a typically Swiss still white wine. He even recorded a Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée for her, which is a French standard to ensure quality.
But the Swiss canton’s constitutional court ruled it must stop mentioning champagne on its wine labels after legal action by the Champagne Committee, the French professional body bringing together winemakers, tradersand Champagne houses.
When asked if the court’s use was a bit of a case of using a hammer to crack a peanut, Charles Goemaere, the managing director of the Champagne Committee, said The connection that it was necessary to protect the livelihoods of the 20,000 winegrowers and other workers who made the famous French sparkling wine.
“We are very proud of our wine and know that it is important for people around the world to know that if they buy a bottle of champagne, they know they are buying a high quality product made according to rules and procedures. strict.
“If we let anyone use the Champagne name, there is a risk that buyers will be disappointed with poor quality products.”
Mr. Goemaere, who before taking his current post was an intellectual property lawyer, said the Champagne Committee was determined to bring the usurpers of their name to justice.
“At any given time, we have around 1,000 legal cases around the world to protect our name,” he said.
“Many are resolved quickly with a letter or two, but some go on forever, like this Swiss did.”
He said the Champagne village had used the case to raise awareness, since the agreement in 2000 when Switzerland opened its borders to the European Union.
“Most cases are resolved in a much shorter time,” he said.
“But there’s a saying among lawyers that the bigger the name, the more susceptible it is to people trying to hold on to its coattails, and Champagne is very sensitive and responsive in protecting its name.”
The one exception, which may be a headache for some people, is the use by Cognac makers of the terms Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne or Grande Fine Champagne to refer to regions within the Cognac growing area.
The use of the terms is thought to stem from the similarity between the very chalky soils of the region and the soil of the Champagne wine region.
“The use of Grande Champagne, Grande Fine Champagne or Petite Champagne has historical roots and name protection associated with Cognac, and goes back as far as Champagne wine name protection,” Goemaere said.
“There are also important rules such as the mention Champagne which must always be associated with the name Cognac on the same label and in small print”, he specifies.
“And of course, Cognac is a spirit, not a wine, and is as determined as we are to protect its quality and prevent people from impersonating its name.”
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