The CIVC (Comite Interprofessionel du Vin de Champagne) has postponed a initiative to protect the Champagne appellation in the United States.

The CIVC has pulled a series of advertisements slated for inclusion in major newspapers such as the New York Times and the Washington Post, which put across the unique nature of the Champagne region and name.

The CIVC now considers it would be unwise to push the case for Champagne at such a politically sensitive time.

European wine and food trade bodies, including the CIVC, are engaged in lobbying EU negotiators to ensure the phasing out in the US of misleading use of semi-generic names like Champagne, Chablis, Sherry, Chianti, Cheddar, Stilton and many others.

A spokesman for the CIVC emphasised brand protection in America – Champagne’s second-largest export market – was not just about Champagne but a Europe-wide issue. As such it was thought that putting stress on a particular French brand would not be politically sensible.

‘Considering the ambience in the French and American press we decided it was wiser to postpone the campaign,’ he told decanter.com.

Written by Adam Lechmere3 April 2003