This Independence Day, Learn More About Champagne in the U.S.!

4th July 2023


This Fourth of July raise a glass to America’s independence with Champagne—but do you know what’s really in your glass?

Although Champagne only comes from Champagne, France, the United States is one of the few countries that still allows sparkling wines that were not produced in the region to use the Champagne name, which can confuse American consumers.

The Champagne name is protected as an appellation d’origine controlee (AOC) under EU law and more than 120 countries reserve the Champagne name exclusively for wines from Champagne. However, the EU-U.S. Agreement on Trade in Wine contains a grandfather clause which permits U.S. wine producers who misused the Champagne name on labels prior to March 10, 2006, to still use them. Additionally, a loophole allows producers to call their newer sparkling wine ‘Champagne’ if they purchase an old label that had been grandfathered in but is no longer in use by the original winery.

So to celebrate this Independence Day celebration, how will you tell whether or not the sparkling wine you plan to enjoy is actually Champagne? Here are a few tips on how to decipher if a bottle of sparkling wine is Champagne.

  • Every bottle of Champagne includes the words ‘Appellation Champagne’ clearly displayed on the label.
  • Bottles of Champagne also include France as the country of origin, as Champagne only comes from the region in France of the same name!
  • The labels also include the registration and code number issued by the Comité Champagne, preceded by two initials – RM, NM or CM – that indicate the category of producer.

The U.S is the top external market for Champagne with 34.1 million bottles at €793.5m.

With 326 million bottles, Champagne shipments rose in 2022 by 1.6% compared with the previous year – proof of the dynamism of the global Champagne market, both in terms of volume and value. The value of shipments for the first time passed the 6 billion euro threshold.

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