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China agrees to Champagne label protection

China has just agreed to offer full labelling protection to the French region of Champagne - something the US refuses to do.

Beijing said it would limit the champagne label to only wines produced in the French region, with the trade group welcoming the move as a boost for the beverage in a fast-growing market.

Sales of the wine are accelerating in the world's second largest economy, from 50,000 bottles in 2001 to one million in 2010.

By 2012 consumption had doubled to two million bottles, making it the fifth-largest market outside the European Union.

But in a country famed for mass-producing fake goods, the champagne label has been applied widely, not only to Chinese-made sparkling wines but also goods ranging from candles to dog toys, trade body Le Comite Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne (CIVC) said.

The new restriction will enable the organisation to seek action against mislabelled products more effectively, it added.

Images courtesy of the Champagne Bureau USA

28 May 2013 - Felicity Murray