Even while many bars and restaurants were forced to stop due to pandemic lockdowns, champagne houses are rejoicing as sales and exports reached new records last year.
According to Comité Champagne, a trade organisation representing over 16 000 winegrowers and 320 champagne houses, France exported a record 180 million bottles of sparkling grape in 2021, up 38% from the previous year.
Champagne sales worldwide also reached a new high of €5.5 billion ($6.2 billion). Total shipments increased 32% year over year to 322 million bottles, according to Comité Champagne, as individuals discovered new reasons to celebrate at home.
“With tourism and the staging of events still reduced due to the health crisis, there is room to believe that home consumption has taken up the slack. Consumers have chosen to entertain themselves at home, compensating for the generally gloomy mood with new moments of conviviality and sharing,” the group said via a statement to The Wine industry Network Advisor.
International consumption soared
Last year, champagne consumption in France returned to pre-pandemic levels, with shipments climbing by 25% to roughly 142 million bottles. Although detailed export statistics has yet to be revealed, the United Kingdom and the United States were the major international markets for champagne in 2020.
In April of 2020, France was struck by devastating frosts that were reportedly among the worst the country had experienced. This caused great damage to vines, but according to The Drinks Business, the region of Champagne was “lucky” when compared to others.
An estimated 20% of vines were damaged of the 30 000 hectare region.
After frosts were followed by strong summer rains, which led to mildew fungus, a condition that causes the grapes and leaves to dry up, production in the Champagne area, which contains its eponymous sparkling wine, is predicted to drop by 36% compared to previous year.