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Camilla pours cold water on British Fizz name recognition plan

The Duchess of Cornwall has poured cold water on plans by UK vineyards to seek official recognition for the name British Fizz - a proposed new term for British sparkling wine.

Camilla appeared unenthusiastic about the name put forward by the UK Vineyards Association (UKVA), saying "I'm not sure about it" when she hosted a reception for the country's top wine producers.

Her comments, which were delivered during a light-hearted speech which drew much laughter, may put her at odds with UKVA as the Duchess is their president and the event also celebrated the organisation's 50th anniversary.

During her impromptu address at the end of the Clarence House reception, the Duchess also highlighted the effect climate change is having on British weather - suggesting warming conditions will mean better UK wine.

Speaking to the wine producers, who were sipping Highgrove sparkling wine, Camilla praised the pioneer who had the "brilliant" idea to plant a vineyard in England.

She said: "We don't exactly have the climate, or we didn't then but I expect with global warming it's going to get better and better, we're going to get better and better wine.

"People always ask me how I became involved in it all, well first of all I love wine ... but secondly my father was in the wine business so I was brought up as a child drinking wine and water rather like the French.

"My grandfather also wrote about wine as did my great grandfather, so I think it's very much in my blood and it's so exciting to see British wine taking off."

She went on to mention the term British Fizz but made the guests laugh when she said "I'm not sure about it".

The Duchess added: "I just feel champagne is such a good name and we don't want to let the French beat us with a better name, so I think everybody ought to get back to having another little think about it.

"I do quite often think I've got a really good name, and then I wake up in he morning and I've forgotten it."

UKVA is applying for protected geographical indication (PGI) status for the terms British Fizz, British Sparkling and Wine from Great Britain.

The protection would mean that only winemakers growing grapes in the UK and making sparkling wine using the traditional bottle-fermentation method would be able to use the description British Fizz on their labels.

The efforts to secure an official name come as the popularity of locally-produced sparkling wine soars around the world.

Cases of home-grown bubbles, which make up nearly 70% of total wine production in the UK, were shipped to a record 27 countries last year, including Japan and Taiwan and even major wine-producing countries like France and Italy.

Chalky soils, south-facing slopes and warm temperatures mean conditions are ideal for producing wine in the UK and the industry now boasts sales of around £100 million a year.

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