Pre-screening of “Widow Clicquot”

🎬✨ Exciting news! I had the privilege of attending an exclusive pre-screening of “Widow Clicquot,” followed by a delightful post-screening champagne toast 🍾 with Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label. The Yellow Label is Veuve Clicquot’s emblematic cuvĂ©e, the House’s signature champagne – balancing four dimensions: freshness, strength, aromatic richness & silkiness.

The film chronicles the remarkable journey of Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin Clicquot, which commences with the untimely death of her husband, she boldly defies societal expectations by taking over the nascent wine business they had built together. Navigating through tumultuous political and financial challenges, Barbe-Nicole silences her critics and transforms the champagne industry, ultimately establishing herself as one of the world’s pioneering businesswomen. Don’t miss this inspiring tale of resilience and innovation!

Mark your calendars for the official release date: July 19, 2024

5 reasons why Champagne remains optimistic for 2024

This week at a press conference held at Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris, David Chatillon and Maxime Toubart, co-Presidents of the Comité Champagne, expressed their optimism for the future. Collectively, Champagne winegrowers and houses have taken strategic decisions and have launched numerous projects to ensure balance within an appellation that continues to sparkle across the globe. Initiatives include the commitment to regulation and social responsibility, the introduction of a new framework for contractual relations between winegrowers and houses, an increase in the reserve level, as well as the construction of Qanopée and a new research and development centre in Epernay; all of which bear witness to the industry’s ongoing commitment in ensuring Champagne remains desirable, available and exemplary.

1) A committed and responsible industry

To address the challenges linked to the employment of grape-pickers, Comité Champagne has asked public authorities to severely condemn the unacceptable behaviors that occurred during last year’s harvest.

It has also launched a strategic plan for the following four pillars:

Accommodation;
Working conditions, health and safety of harvesters;
Securing the supply of service providers; and
Facilitating recruitment.
Initial progress will be shared before the 2024 harvest.

“We are committed to providing a better framework during this crucial period, and to dealing with the fundamental issues. The aim is to ensure the smooth running of the harvest, which mobilizes 100,000 grape-pickers every year,” says Maxime Toubart, President of the Syndicat GĂ©nĂ©ral des Vignerons and co-President of the ComitĂ© Champagne.

In addition, the contractualization agreement governing the Champagne grape market has been renewed for a 5-year period. It secures market supply and consolidates the sharing of value.

2) An innovative industry

Champagne has a long-standing tradition of innovation, adapting to new challenges and evolving climates.

As part of the national plan to combat vine decline, the Comité Champagne is continuously involved in fighting against new diseases, including the flavescence dorée, and has equipped itself with tools to ensure the long-term survival of the vineyard, and preserve the distinctiveness and excellence of Champagne wine:

Construction of an “insect-proof” greenhouse: This new-generation greenhouse, built as part of the QANOPÉE project including Champagne, Beaujolais, and Burgundy wine-growing regions, is designed to secure the production of vine plants in north-eastern France. Inauguration is scheduled for summer 2024.

An expanded research, development and innovation centre at the future Maison de la Champagne in Epernay. Announced last year, construction is just about to begin. This centre will reinforce the industry’s initiatives for quality and sustainable development, with state-of-the-art equipment.
Raising the reserve level: a crucial tool for regulating Champagne production, the reserve enables a portion of the wines produced during good harvests, to be kept for future use in any deficit years. To guarantee a stable marketable yield each year and further improve the resilience of the
sector, the reserve level has been raised from 8,000 kg/ha to 10,000 kg/ha.

3) A strong appellation

For over 120 years, winegrowers and Champagne houses have been working together to protect the appellation and ensure its worldwide influence.

In line with ambitions to expand its network of embassies around the world, a new Champagne Office will open in Stockholm next April, representing the industry in the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark). It will be the local point of contact for media, wine professionals, importers and government authorities in Scandinavia. This expansion is justified by the growing importance of these markets, with demand steadily rising over the last ten years (+67%).

Wine professionals around the world express a strong enthusiasm for Champagne. A recent qualitative study revealed their deep emotional connection with the product, highlighting its unique character. To further cement their connection to the appellation, training is crucial. That’s why the ComitĂ© Champagne is launching “Champagne Education”, a comprehensive, certified programme designed to train wine professionals and reinforce their role as ambassadors. This programme is already being rolled out, in partnership with renowned schools around the world (including the Ecole du Vin in Paris, the Napa Valley Wine Academy in the USA, the Cordon Bleu in UK and the Deutsche Wein und Sommelierschule in Germany).

Finally, the battle for recognition and protection of the Champagne appellation continues. In 2023, after several significant wins against misuses of its name – notably in Canada and Italy – Champagne was granted “notorious name” status in China, a first for a foreign appellation in China. This proves to be a huge step forward, providing further protection against any fraudulent use of the name Champagne, for any product, including any writing in Chinese characters.

“The continued investments and commitments we are making for the industry’s resilience are an absolute priority to give us the means to ensure long-term market balance, as well as ensure that Champagne remains an exceptional wine,” comments David Chatillon, President of the Union des Maisons de Champagne and co-President of the ComitĂ© Champagne.

4) Champagne remains THE benchmark

Champagne remains an undisputed benchmark for consumers. According to an IPSOS study in 2023, Champagne still embodies luxury, prestige and elegance. Consumers associate this wine with unique memories and emotional connections, making it the ideal choice to mark important moments and special occasions.

5) Renewed consumption and markets

The final reason for Champagne’s optimism lies in the renewal of consumption and markets.

Confined to “non vintage brut” for a long time, consumers are now looking for greater diversity in blends and dosage.

Demand for rosé Champagne abroad has increased 5-fold in 20 years. By the end of 2022, it represented over 10% of export sales, with 20 million bottles.

Low dosage wines (extra brut and zero dosage) are also on the rise, with volumes increasing almost 70-fold in the space of 20 years (6.4 million bottles exported in 2022).

Exports now account for almost 60% of total sales (171.7 million bottles), compared to 45% ten years ago, but many markets remain to be conquered. While 80% of Champagne is still sold in 8 countries, new markets such as Canada, South Africa and South Korea are showing growing interest in Champagne and have recorded remarkable growth in recent years.
Sustainability Update

With the Champagne region located at the northernmost portion of prime grape-growing latitudes, growers have spent more than a century thinking about climate and its impact on weather. As the world grapples with climate change, it’s no surprise Champagne is at the leading edge of sustainability practices.

Champagne in 2003 became the first wine-growing region in the world to conduct a carbon footprint assessment, identify the main sources of emissions, and enact a plan to curb those emissions. Since then, Champagne producers have cut CO2 emissions generated by each bottle of Champagne by 20 percent. The region aims to achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2050.

While honoring our traditions, Champagne also embraces the science of viticulture. Over the years, that has meant adopting new techniques to protect our vines from disease, create optimal yields, and husband our resources. The region is experimenting with soil management, growing practices, vine spacing, grape ripening, harvesting techniques and fermenting practices to prepare for the effects of climate change.

In 2014, the Champagne region planted new varietals to determine how they would fare in an era of extreme weather. Comité Champagne is continuing to evaluate these varietals to ensure the quality and yield meets the high standards for which Champagne is known, a process that takes at least 15 years. If new varietals are chosen, they will need to be registered in the French catalogue of vine varietals and added to the Champagne protection denomination of origin specifications.

Nine Creative Ways to Use Leftover Champagne

New Year’s celebrations have ended and somehow you still have some left, how can that be?

Here are nine creative ways, I’ve learned along the way how to use leftover champagne.

1. Mix up some Champagne cocktails.
2. Freeze into ice cubes to use in cocktails and sauces.
3. Soak some fruits in Champagne for brunch.
4. Make a Champagne vinaigrette – yumm.
5. Use to make luscious Champagne truffles.
6. Make a mouth-watering Risotto.
7. Create sauces for a seafood dish.
8. Create a creamy Champagne chicken dish.
9. Add it to your bath water and enjoy the moment !

Five Essential Tips for Serving Champagne This New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is the time to celebrate all your successes and everything you’ve accomplished in 2023. It’s also a time to look forward to the new year, and new beginnings!

Countless bottles of Champagne will be opened on New Year’s Eve to toast and ring in 2024. Here are some essential tips:

1. Choosing Stemware
In choosing stemware, the standard flute constricts the wine’s aromas and flavors. So, to enjoy Champagne to its fullest, use a standard white wine glass. Champagnes that have a high percentage of Pinot Noir, including RosĂ©s use a larger glass, such as a Pinot stem, as this will allow more of the nuances in the wine to come through.
Make sure the glasses are clean and polished to get the purest bubbles, with no soap.

2. Temperature
The ideal temperature for serving is around 46°-50°F or 8°C – 10°C.

The best way to chill Champagne is to place the bottle in a bucket with ice and water for around 30 minutes, or in a refrigerator for a few hours.

3. Removing the Foil and Cage
Remove the foil wrapper, and gently untwist the wire cage off the cork, holding the bottle upright. Use your thumb to keep the cork from releasing unexpectedly.

4. Opening
Firmly grip the cork with one hand and gently twist six times, counter clock wise, the bottle from its base with the other hand, while keeping it at an angle and pointed away. The cork should emerge softly, with a whisper, not a bang.

5. Pouring + Serving
Hold the glass at an angle and pour a small amount of Champagne into the glass. Let the foam subside, then pour a little bit more. This will help preserve the bubbles. Champagne warms quickly, so I would recommend a one-third pour.

Morgan Freeman becomes the muse for Laurent-Perrier’s “Grand Siècle”

American actor Morgan Freeman is the official muse of the iconic Grand Siècle cuvée of the House of Champagne Laurent-Perrier.

“We, Laurent-Perrier, are different from our peers, or perceived as such. Our pursuit of excellence, because of our difference, has taken us more time, more effort, great perseverance and a strong belief in our vision to become recognized for what we do. It does take time to become an icon: for us, nobody but Morgan Freeman could better embody that line and become the face of Grand Siècle.”

Stéphane Dalyac, Champagne Laurent-Perrier President and CEO