Putin anti-champagne law sparks controversy

A new law in Russia ordering French champagne to be labelled sparkling wine has caused unrest among producers.

The new law states that only local Russian producers can call their products “shampanskoye", the local translation for champagne.

The new legislation has been signed by Vladimir Putin and means foreign producers must only label their products as sparkling wine.

French producers are still allowed to use the word ‘champagne’ on the front of their bottles, however the Russian translation "shampanskoye" is only allowed on local produce.

According to the BBC, Moët Hennessy reportedly suspended its deliveries to Russia over the weekend in order to add ‘sparkling wine’ to its bottles.

"You can imagine the reaction of the French authorities," French agriculture minister Julien Denormandie told Sud Radio.

"The word ‘champagne’ comes from that beautiful region of France where champagne is produced.”

Russia imports around 50m litres of sparkling wine each year with French champagne representing 13% of this market.