Comité Champagne (Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne (CIVC) recently released their 2022 US market update and outlook. Global champagne sales boasted the highest in 15 years – 325.5 M bottles shipped, worth over $6.6 billion.
“This is a proof of dynamism of the Champagne market in both volume and value,” said Gaëlle Egoroff, Comité Champagne Director of Protection and Promotion. “We can see the unique place that it holds in the hearts and the minds of consumers.”
Notably, the US remains Champagne’s number one export market outside of France. In 2022, US volumes reached 33.7 million bottles shipped, with a total value of nearly $1 billion. This marks a 1.1 percent decline from 2021 figures, which is a record. The marginal decline stemmed from an overwhelming global demand for Champagne in 2022, coupled with difficulties delivering those demands to the United States.
The Comité Champagne credits the uptick in Champagne consumption in the US to emerging trends. These include by-the-glass pours, coupled with a growing thirst for rosé, low-dosage, and prestige cuvée Champagnes.
Remarkably, the US ranks 1st among other countries for rosé Champagne. Prestige cuvées represent the second US largest segment by value. More surprisingly, US imports of low-dosage Champagne exceeded 1 million bottles in 2022, an increase of over 50% from the previous year.
“American people have learned to appreciate Champagne,” said Egoroff. “The more they appreciate Champagne, the more they want to discover the diversity of Champagne.”
It’s also Interesting to note that American consumers lag behind in their EU counterparts in understanding Champagne’s origins, a problem that Comité Champagne plans to tackle with future trade and consumer education.
Champagne house Charles Heidsieck has named Elise Losfelt as its new cellar master, taking over from Cyril Brun. The announcement was made today, on International Women’s Day as the collective wine community celebrates women in the industry.
An agricultural engineer from AgroParisTech with a master’s in Wine and Vine along with a national diploma in Oenology, 36-year-old Losfelt has worked in Champagne for the last ten years in various roles at Moët & Chandon. She began her journey in a wine communication role, and subsequently, as head of winemaking for Moët & Chandon, she worked with cellar masters from Moët & Chandon, Mercier, Ruinart and Dom Pérignon. Losfelt developed her winemaking experience initially by participating in harvests in Majorca (Domaine Mortitx), Saint-Julien (Château Beychevelle) and Australia (Domaine Dominique Portet).
Reflecting on her appointment, Losfelt said: “I have enormous respect for the creativity and rigour of my predecessors and I hope to make a coherent contribution to the continuity of the house style. It is with humility and enthusiasm that I join with these passionate men and women to work together in forging the fate of this iconic House.”
Her predecessor, Cyril Brun, joined Charles Heidsieck in 2015 and recently masterminded the new Champagne Charlie, an iconic House cuvée that enjoyed a renaissance in 2022.
Stephen Leroux, CEO of the House of Charles Heidsieck added: “Throughout his career here Cyril has been much liked by our teams and distributors as well as by our clients and journalist friends throughout the world. He has written a chapter in the long Charles Heidsieck history book, and we thank him for his contribution to the house, his commitment, and his contagious cheerfulness. We wish him every success in his future endeavours.”
The Comité Champagne today lifts the veil on the sector’s plan for the next decade, defining a global trajectory to face the challenges of the next 10 years. The main objective of this plan is that Champagne is always available, always desirable and always exemplary. In addition, the Comité Champagne will increase its annual budget by an additional €10 million ($10.72 million), which will be invested in areas including R&D, the sustainable development of the Champagne industry and strengthening its foundational missions.
Champagne Remains the Standard
The results for 2022 confirm the overall dynamism of the Champagne market, with 326 million bottles shipped globally in 2022 (up 1.6% from 2021). Champagne has quickly recovered from the shock of the 2020 health crisis and unquestionably retains the unique place that it holds in the hearts and minds of consumers.
An Interprofessional Committee that Meets the Challenges of Tomorrow
However, the vineyards are fragile; they suffer from unpredictable weather patterns and the development of diseases that cause the vines to wither, such as flavescence dorée, which has been referred to as the 21st-century phylloxera. Faced with these new challenges, and because the power of Champagne is based on the collective efforts of the industry as a whole, the Champagne winegrowers and houses once again take their destiny into their own hands.
A Revamped Research, Development and Innovation Center
To meet the challenges of production and quality, the Champagne sector will be equipped with a new center of research, development and innovation. This new site, which will be launched by 2025, will increase the surface area of the existing laboratory by 40%. It will also contain state-of-the-art equipment, including a new resized fermentation room/experimental cellar, a new tasting room twice as large as the existing room, and a new one-hectare experimental platform.
Preparing the Viticulture of Tomorrow While Preserving the Character of Wines in a Changing Climate
Grape varietal research is a strong tool for adapting to climate change and a response to societal expectations for the reduction of phytopharmaceutical products. In response, Champagne joined the INRAE varietal innovation program in 2010 and created its own regional program in 2014.
To sustain the availability and quality of its wines, Champagne is experimenting with new varietals, researching new techniques to combat the various forms of decline in the vineyard, defining new soil maintenance protocols, and implementing new oenological strategies to anticipate the effects of climate change while also meeting the requirements of the agroecological transition.
An Ambitious New Sustainable Development Plan Towards “Net-Zero Carbon” by 2050
Champagne has been at the forefront of sustainable development in the wine industry. In the 1980s, the Comité Champagne began work on wastewater treatment, biological control in the vines and vineyard zoning. The Champagne sector has fought against a changing climate and adapting to new conditions is a key priority. As such, the sector is particularly proud of its results to date: 100% treatment of wine effluents and more than 90% of industrial waste, a 20% reduction in the carbon footprint per bottle since 2003 and 63% of the vineyard areas receiving environmental certification (with a target of 100% certified by 2030).
That said, this plan must also reinforce the economic and social ambitions of Champagne. These ambitions go through improving the resilience of the sector, its workforce and the attractiveness of the region.
“It’s not just about responding to changing consumer demands, it’s about ensuring the productivity and sustainability of the Champagne vineyards, designing and promoting a viticulture in balance with the ecosystem and producing a sufficient quantity of quality grapes” said Maxime Toubart, President of the Syndicat Général des Vignerons and co-president of the Comité Champagne. “This is the goal of our industry plan and the course which we are setting for ourselves.”
The plan also aims to strengthen the training mission with the establishment of a large, coherent and impactful education ecosystem, with the goal of being recognized as the gateway and key player in Champagne training and education.
Today, Champagne has offices in 10 of its largest export markets, including the United States, which are responsible for promoting the appellation in their respective countries. This network of Champagne embassies will expand to make Champagne stronger globally.
“The investment we make embodies the social responsibility of our sector,” said David Chatillon, president of the Union des Maisons de Champagne and co-president of the Comité Champagne. “It is an absolute priority that Champagne remains an exceptional wine supported by a united, responsible and committed industry. It is a new goal at the service of new ambitions for our appellation and our terroir.”
Pommery Brut Rosé Royal is a non-vintage champagne coming from the same blend as the Brut Royal which is 31% Chardonnay, 38% Pinot Noir and 31% Pinot Meunier. This rose has aged in the bottle for 3 years on lees, and an additional 6 months after disgorging.
Beautiful delicate pale pink in color, with fine beads and persistence. Palate of red berries, and stone fruit, with appealing freshness, liveliness and lovely finesse – 94 points
It’s a champagne that is celebratory by day and romantic by night – perfect for Valentine’s Day !
“NV Champagne Pommery Brut Rosé Royal is perfecting for paring with Red Roses” Liz Palmer