Sunday

24th Oct 2021

Court battle looms over name of Champagne

The 657 inhabitants of the Swiss village of Champagne in the Jura mountains have been making white wine for at least 1,000 years and naming it after their village. They might have to stop that if one particular clause in the Swiss-EU Agreement stands, reported the Daily Telegraph.

The French wine-making empire wants them to change the name because, they say haughtily, it trades off the name of French champagne, which has been made only since the seventeenth century. So far the French Government and various French manufacturers have won most battles over the naming of food and wine but the Swiss are determined that their 280,000 bottle a year will carry the name they have always done with no confusion in any customer's mind. About 40 people of the village have gone to the European Court of Justice, asking to have the relevant section of the Agreement omitted. The fight is led by Albert Banderet, a formen mayor and has been likened to the never-ending fight waged by Asterix the Gaul and his village against the might of the Roman Empire.

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The French are worried as is the EU. If the uppity Swiss win, it will be the first case of individuals from a non-EU country altering a fully ratified inter-state agreement.

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