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Dear Dr. Vinny,
Please correct me if I am wrong. The new agreement between the European Union and the United States allows the use of place names such as Chablis, Burgundy, Port and Champagne on wine labels in the U.S., but only for continued use on existing brands, not on new brands. So can we drink American Champagne after all?
—Drago B., Slovenia
You are correct. In 2006 the United States and the European Union signed a wine trade agreement in which the United States agreed to not allow new uses of certain terms that were previously considered to be “semi-generic,” including Champagne, Burgundy, Chablis, Port and Chianti. But any producer that already had an approved label was “grandfathered in” and may continue to use the term.
So, yes, there are some sparkling wines from the United States that continue to use the term “Champagne” on their labels.
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