Françoise Peretti, who heads up the Champagne Bureau in London, wrote, “The Comité Champagne has been reviewing the annual tastings around the world and it was decided to pause the activity in the UK for the time being.”
“The event, which has been running since 1994, has been very successful, but we feel it is time to review it. Should the Comité Champagne decide to maintain the event, it is unlikely that it would take place before 2018.”
She told Drinks Business that the decision to end the Annual Champagne Tasting was “not a question of slashed budgets; not a question of the UK becoming less important, and not a question of Brexit,” but a result of “a change” in the way the Comité was approaching the marketing of Champagne after more than 20 years hosting the event in London.
Adding “After 20 years, it is time to explore other opportunities.”… “We feel that it is time to look at how we can reinvent the tasting… why do the same thing over and over again?”
While she said that it was “most unlikely” there would be a tasting next year, she said, “be assured, there will be activities”.
Looking ahead, she said that the Champagne Bureau would be spending the second half of this year “canvassing agents, the media, the trade and educators” before deciding how best to promote Champagne in the UK.
Concluding, she said, “I like to see it evolving and everything is possible, we are looking at a big event, or other smaller events, and something digital.”
Nevertheless, she stressed, whatever the approach, “education is number one on the Comité Champagne list”.
The Comité Champagne, formerly known as the CIVC (which stands for Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne), is a trade association representing Champagne’s producers and houses. It is tasked with promoting the region’s wines through R&D, as well as marketing and protecting the Champagne appellation.
The generic body was established in 1941 and has held a tasting in London since 1994, which, for the past two years, was held at One Great George Street.
Champagne Bureau UK
Drinks Business UK