Japan Overtakes Germany in Champagne Export Market

Japan has overtaken Germany in export volumes of champagne for the first time in history, according to recent data provided by Comité Champagne.

Japan imported 12.8m bottles between 2016-17, which is a 21.3% increase on the previous year, leapfrogging them above Germany into third place.

“Over the past 20 years, Japan has produced 3,000 sommeliers and the country has a real passion for champagne,” said Vincent Perrin, deputy direct general, Comité Champagne.

“Japan has a strong distribution network and benefited from the free trade agreement announced with the EU.”

The US remains the number one for exports in terms of value, with more than half a billion Euros recorded in 2017, however the UK imported almost 28m bottles over the same period, a global high despite recording an 11% decrease in volumes.

Perrin adds: “There is an uncertainty with the UK due to the effects of Brexit, however the French economy is in a good place so we’re expecting big things for 2018, specifically in the on-trade.”

China grew 76.7% in terms of volume in 2017, the largest increase globally and the country is now ranked 15th in the world.

“These are promising signs from China, but I think they need educating on wines that aren’t Bordeaux reds before they become truly influential,” said Perrin.

Confirmed Growth For The Sparkling Wine Market

imagesThe segment is extremely healthy: the global market for sparkling wines proved to be bullish once again in 2015, as confirmed by research by FranceAgriMer. Production, consumption and trade are all showing growth.

Production continues to rise

Production of sparkling wine reached 19 million hectolitres in 2015, equivalent to 2.5 billion bottles, according to data by Agrex Consulting. It accounts for 7% of global wine production, compared with 5% in 2000. 

Leading producer countries

4.38 million hl2.9 million hl2.9 million hl1.6 million hl

Consumption is also on the rise

Global consumption totals 17.6 million hl, up 4.1% on 2005/2014. It is growing faster than consumption of still wines which rose 1.3% over the same period.

Leading consumer countries

2.9 million hl2.4 million hl1.9 million hl1.8 million hl

Per capita consumption

4.7 bottles/yr3.7 bottles/yr0.8 bottles/yr2.2 bottles/yr

Exports approach 50 billion euros

7.2 million hectolitres of sparkling wines (> 3 bar) were exported in 2015, equating to 7% of global wine exports. Over ten years, export volumes have almost doubled. Sparkling wines posted 48.6 billion euros in turnover with bottle prices averaging at 6.7 euros/litre, three times the price tag for still wines. Three countries dominate exports: Italy, France and Spain. Italy ranks first by volume with growth of 216% between 2005 and 2015. France leads the way by value thanks to its top end offering Champagne with 55% of turnover for French sparkling wines ascribed to this one appellation. Conversely, French sparkling wines lost ground by volume (-9 points) and value (-10 points) in 2005-2015.

Share of the three leading countries of global sparkling wine exports


Great Britain leads the way for imports

The United Kingdom ranks first by volume with an 18% share but is outstripped by the United States in value terms (19% of imports). 59% of British imports by value come from France. The United States have witnessed soaring sparkling wine imports which have surged by 80% in ten years. The average price tag in the States is high at 9.2 euros compared with 5.8 euros in the UK.

Germany is the second largest importer country by volume, followed by the United States. Prices are low in Germany with the market generating only 10% of the value of global imports. Semi-sparkling wines are the most popular which explains why the average price per litre is just 2 euros.

Source: FranceAgriMer

Reims Cathedral Celebrates Its 800th Anniversary This Year

Both the United States and the Champagne Region Share History.

The Notre-Dame Cathedral of Reims, historic coronation site for French kings located in the Champagen region of France, celebrates its 800th anniversary this year.

Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001, the Reims Cathedral welcomed generations of French monarchs and nobility. Wines from the Champagne region were historically served at the royal banquets that accompanied coronations, contributing to Champagne’s reputation as a luxurious beverage.

To mark the cathedral’s 800th anniversary, Champagne houses and wineries have committed to restoring statuary located around the façade. The Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC), a trade association that represents the grape growers and houses of Champagne, France, has been a long-standing supporter of efforts to restore the cathedral.

“The Reims Cathedral is a stunning showcase of the Champagne region’s history and beauty,” said Sam Heitner, director of the Champagne Bureau, the U.S. representative of the CIVC. “Just as the Champagne region has a long history of working together to ensure quality, so too have they joined forces to protect this masterpiece of Gothic architecture.”

The latest restoration is another in the ongoing series of projects undertaken to address significant damage sustained by the cathedral during World War I, many of which have been financed by supporters from the United States and the Champagne region.

Beginning in 1919, the Rockefellers, an American philanthropic family, funded a series of projects at the Reims Cathedral to restore the roof, Angel bell tower and grand fleur de lis. These efforts were integral to both the restoration of the world-famous cathedral and to attracting other long-term donors. Over the past decades, the CIVC has funded numerous restoration projects, including new stained glass windows and restoration of the chime, astronomical clock and neo-Gothic chandeliers.

The town of Reims has planned a series of celebrations through mid-October of this year to celebrate the cathedral, including concerts, exhibitions and a spectacular daily light show. For more information, please visit www.ville-reims.fr.