Despite persistent attempts by France to bring about a ban, it is still permissible for Californian winemakers, under certain circumstances, to call their sparkling wine “California Champagne” (but not within the EU of course!). At the French Trade Minister’s visit to Napa Valley earlier in June, however, the wine growers there made it clear to him that in Napa Valley, they don’t.
Napa Valley is also a name that suffers abuse by other wine regions and, like Champagne, Napa spend large sums every year to prevent such abuse. The producers in Napa Valley understand the importance of protecting an origin. However, there are still producers in Napa Valley that call their fortified wines port. This is just as bad of course as calling a sparkling wine champagne. Apparently they are trying to find an alternative name. Read more on winesandvines.com
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