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Thursday, 3 November 2005

SOUR GRAPES OVER RUSSIAN CHAMPAGNE


Kommersant reports that the four largest Russian producers of Sovetskoe Champagne have written to the Russian Agriculture Minister asking him to transfer the Sovetskoe trade mark to the Producers of Champagne Wines, a non-profit organisation, the mission of which you can probably guess from its name. The mark is currently held by Soyuzplodoimport, a company which manages a number of trade marks on behalf of the state. At present, the “champagne” producers pay a licence fee that enables them to use the mark, but it has come to their attention that Soyuzplodoimport intends to sell the mark to a non-protit undertaking that does not produce sparkling wine. The “champagne” producers are concerned that they won’t be able to use the mark under the new ownership.

The IPKat was goggle-eyed when he read this story. He thought that the French producers of Champagne had managed to eradicate all other uses of the term on wine. However, it seems that the use on Sovetskoe Champagne, first developed in the 1930s to provide a Soviet alternative to Champagne, remains.

3 comments:

Guy said...

In the days of the Soviet Union "champagne" was available from the "Russian Shop" in High Holborn. As the word was printed in cyrillic characters, as in your illustration, no one seemed to worry. In Moscow in those days you could buy Georgiwan "cognac" again with the word in cyrillic characters.

Jeremy said...

I remember the Russian Shop. It had some of the most desirable watches, binoculars, cameras and other optical equipment I'd ever seen. Wonder what happened to all that stuff ...

Anonymous said...

In may countries Champagne (or cognac) have become the 'style of wine' (or drink). And they should remain as such no matter what French say about their prestigious overpriced regional wives. 'Soviet Champagne' for one is not overpriced and is better (in my opinion) than some French champagne I have tried.

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