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NLF - champagneboek en glazen.jpg

Nicole Langen Fotografie

Burst the bubble

Champagne is a sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wines can be called champagne. A Spanish cava, a crémant, a South African vonkelwyn, a German Sekt and an Italian prosecco spumante are also sparkling wines, yet they cannot be called champagne!

They have their own character, are sometimes made from different grape varieties and the way in which the wines are produced can also differ from the traditional method.

And most importantly, they are not produced in Champagne, France!

Champagne or champagne?

Champagne is a unique, elegant, sparkling wine with specific characteristics, that can only be produced in one particular region in France; the Champagne region!

To avoid any confusion we will call the region 'Champagne', with a capital letter and the wine 'champagne', with a small letter.

Well protected


Did you know that 'champagne' is a protected name?

It has a controlled designation of origin, in French an 'appellation d'origine controlée' (AOC). Only sparkling wines from this region may bear the name 'champagne'. There are therefore no Italian, Spanish or German champagnes or any other products with the name 'champagne'!

Rules and regulations

To produce champagne, champagne houses and champagne 

producers must comply with strict rules and regulations, such as origin, permitted grape varieties and the way the champagne is made and stored. From the height of the vines to the maximum yield per hectare, everything is recorded, ruled and regulated. The reason behind this, is to assure both the quality of champagne, as well as its excellent reputation.

Unfair use of the word ' champagne'

The word 'champagne' has built up such an excellent reputation that it was (and still is) often abused. Many products that mentioned the word 'champagne', actually had nothing to do with champagne; from cigarettes to perfume and shampoo. This has been prohibited by law since 1990, but the Comité interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne (CIVC, in short Comité  Champagne)  still combats violations of this recognition and all forms of counterfeiting, imitation or misuse. 

Examples of misuse of the word ' champagne'

Parfum Yes Saint Laurent misbruik champa
SC - oneigenlijk gebruik van naam champa
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