The Official #Champagne Experience Day – London

ProWein 2017: Record Number of Exhibitors and Participants

With new record exhibitor and visitor participation, this year’s ProWein, International Trade Fair for Wines and Spirits, impressively confirmed its status as the world’s most important business platform for the international wine and spirits sector. Over 6,500 exhibitors from more than 60 nations presented their creations to 58,500 trade visitors from 130 countries (2016: 55,700 from 126 countries) at the fairgrounds in Düsseldorf, Germany.
 A total of 50% of the exhibitors were from Italy (1,600) and France (1,500), followed by Germany (1,000), the New World (600), Austria, Spain and Portugal. In focus were the new wines from all relevant winegrowing regions complemented by 300 spirits specialties. A famous exhibitor was Sting with his Il Palagio winery from Tuscany. Together with his wife Trudie Styler the superstar presented his wines at ProWein 2017.
  This year visitor numbers also set new standards. Every second trade visitors came to Düsseldorf from abroad. Particularly pleasing was the high number of managers: at least two-thirds of all trade visitors were top decision-makers and came to ProWein with the intention to invest: almost 60% of all trade visitors concluded their business deals during the trade fair or plan to place orders after the show. Every second trade visitor visitors also found new suppliers. “ProWein is an incredibly intensive trade fair. For three days very concentrated and effective business is done here. Visitors included key players – important importers and representatives from large international commercial chains. Again this year the sector showed how strong and capable it is. An extremely high number of orders were placed and many new business ideas were discussed,” stated Hans Werner Reinhard, Managing Director of Messe Düsseldorf.
  The exhibitors’ comprehensive ranges were supplemented by special focal points such as the Champagne Lounge, the Organic World with organic wines, the Tasting Area by Mundus Vini and the fizzz Lounge. At the “same but different” special show companies presented unusual wine and spirits production and marketing concepts. The concurrent ancillary program consisted of some 500 tastings and events, either at the exhibitors’ stands or in the ProWein Forum. These events were geared towards retail and restaurants and provided key impulses and information. One highlight was British wine critic Jancis Robinson’s presentation of her personal ProWein favorites.
  Of particular interest this year was the new ProWein Business Report, developed in collaboration with the renowned Geisenheim University (Germany). About 1,500 wine sector experts from 46 countries took part in the survey about international wine markets, marketing trends and the development of wine sales channels. The report provides an overview of the sector’s current mood and in future will serve as an annual barometer of trends. Participants included wine producers (small and large wineries, cooperatives) as well as marketers (specialty retailers/wine merchants, wholesalers, importers/exporters, hotels and gastronomy).

Global Champagne Shipments for 2016

Today, the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne released its sales and shipment results for the Champagne sector in 2016.

Here is the list of the top markets for 2016, along with some findings:

  • Champagne exports continues to progress, especially outside Europe;
  • Consumers are diversifying their tastes and turning to Rosé Champagne and Prestige Cuvées  – Rosé Champagne grew (+8,6% in vol) and Prestige Cuvées grew (+4,7%);
  • 2016 is the second record year (4.71 billion euros) after 2015 (4.74 billion euros); and
  • Many countries confirm their status as growth drivers: (+ 9.4% Canada), United States (+ 6.3%), (+12% Mexico), (+ 15.1% in South Africa), (+ 25.4% in New Zealand), and (+ 14.2% in South Korea).

 

CHAMPAGNE AFFECTED BY CHARDONNAY SHORTAGE

During the London launch last week of Dom Ruinart 2006 and Dom Ruinart Rosé 2004, Ruinart’s Chef de Cave, Frédéric Panaïotis said that supply was now being constrained by the amount of Chardonnay grapes it could source for the house – a specialist in Blanc de Blancs Champagnes.

“Everything is going well but my boss would be happier if we could get more Chardonnay grapes,” he began.

“Chardonnay is still less than 30% of the planted area in Champagne, and the price is not cheap for Chardonnay grapes, while buying vineyards is not easy, so we have to grow slowly: demand is faster than the growth we could have, but we are used to it,” he added.

Frédéric Dufour, the president & CEO of Ruinart, said that the supply of Chardonnay was limiting growth for the house, describing the grape as a “precious raw material” in Champagne.

“The hardest grape to get is Chardonnay, because even if you have Pinot Noir, you need Chardonnay, and Chardonnay is the least planted grape [in Champagne],” he said.

He then commented, “And for great Chardonnay you need chalk, and certain slopes, and the quantities of Chardonnay produced can be tricky – the grape is fragile because it blossoms early; so great Chardonnay is the most challenging to get.”

He also recorded that, despite the shortage, no more Chardonnay is being planted in Champagne, commenting, “Everything that can be planted to make good Chardonnay has been planted.”

Having observed that “everyone is after good Chardonnay,” he stated, “Good Chardonnay is the most precious raw material in Champagne today.”

Of the 34,000 hectares of vineyards in Champagne today, approximately 10,000ha are planted with Chardonnay, an area that has gradually risen almost 30% over the past 20 years.

Chardonnay is the least planted grape in Champagne, with more than 13,000ha devoted to Pinot Noir, and around 11,000ha given over to Meunier.

Ruinart is a specialist in Champagnes made from Chardonnay: Its ‘R’ de Ruinart NV contains a minimum of 40% Chardonnay; its Ruinart Blanc de Blancs is 100% Chardonnay, sourced predominantly from Premier Cru vineyards, while the Ruinart Brut Rosé is typically 45% Chardonnay and 55% Pinot, of which 18% is red wine.

Meanwhile, the prestige cuvée Dom Ruinart is made entirely with Grand Cru Chardonnay, predominantly from the Côte des Blancs (70%) and the remainder from the Montagne de Reims. And the Dom Ruinart Rosé has the same basis as the blanc, to which 15%-20% red wine (Pinot Noir from Verzenay and Verzy) is added.

The suggested retail prices for the current releases from Ruinart are as follows:

Dom Ruinart Blanc 2006 – £140.00

Dom Ruinart Rosé 2004 – £200.00

 

 

Source:  The Drinks Business

Book Review: The Ultimate Guide To Champagne

 

“Congratulations Liz for putting your PASSION for Champagne into life and making it accessible to many people.

Great book, with all what needs to be known about Champagne and getting to appreciate it more, from his history to his making, and demonstrating again that wine (even if it is not still) is always about people and passion!

Thank you for your great contribution to the world of wine and your tribute to Champagne.”

 

Christian Frayssignes
Christian Wine Consulting
www.christianwineconsulting.com