France is planning to expand its Champagne region, in a bid to cope with a growing thirst for the exclusive tipple.
Only wines made within the Champagne area of north eastern France, the borders of which were laid down by law in 1927, are allowed to use the appellation d'origine contrôllée label for champagne.
But the Institute national de l'origine et de la qualité, the body which decides on the wine growing boundaries, is set to expand the area, with the inclusion of up to 40 more villages.
Champagne currently includes 319 villages spread across 83,000 acres of land. French exports of champagne hit a record 151 million bottles last year following a soar in demand in Russia and China.
By Kerstin Kühn
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