Champagne producers won geographical branding protection from China, underpinning sales in their fastest-growing market, according to the growers’ association Comite Interprofessionel du Vin de Champagne.
The Chinese decision will prevent makers of sparkling wines from outside the French region labeling them as Champagne in China. Champagne shipments to the country exceeded 2 million bottles last year, an increase of 52 percent from 2011, the CIVC said in an e-mailed statement.
The decision follows China’s step granting similar protected status to wines from California’s Napa Valley in October. Sales of premium wines to China have risen since the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 and Hong Kong’s decision that year to abolish tax on wine.