For the first time in nearly a century, France is considering altering the Champagne region’s boundaries, and subsequently what can be considered true champagne. There are currently 319 communes within the specialized region, but French authorities are inspecting 40 additional municipalities to determine their ability to produce champagne as well.
The INAO, the French organization which regulates French agricultural protected designations of origin, has assigned five undercover experts to review and inspect the current and prospective land. They will select the acceptable plots based on terroir, exposure to the sun and history of growing grapes. A finalized map of the updated Champagne appellation likely won’t be released until 2021.
Source: WSJ, December 2017