Champagne sales 2015: the facts

Champagne production

According to the Comité Champagne, the region’s production area currently stands at 33,762 hectares although its planted area is slightly higher, totalling 34,305ha.

Champagne harvest 2015This comprises the following number of producers:

Estate growers: 15,861
Grower-producers: 4,461
Cooperatives (selling): 41
Champagne houses: 322

Growers own approximately 90% of the land in Champagne, and, although the houses only own around 10% of the vineyards, they produce 70% of the wines.

Meanwhile, around 85% of all Champagne exports are produced by the houses.

In terms of Champagne’s place in the world of wine, the appellation represents just 0.4% of the globe’s vineyards, and 4% of France’s vineyard area.

It’s turnover record in 2015 of €4.74 billion accounts for 30% of French wine exports by value.

Last year’s harvest had a yield set by the Comité Champagne of 10,000kg/ha although a further 500kg can be released from reserves from previous harvests.

The harvest produced wines with an average potential alcohol of 10.4% and an average acidity is 7.1g H2SO4/litre, prompting Bruno Paillard to comment, “It is a classical, great vintage with good balance between acidity and sugar.”

Continuing he recorded, “The Pinot Noirs are not yet open, but the Chardonnays are already showing very well…. There is no doubt that 2015 will be declared a vintage by most producers.”

The average price of grapes across the region in 2015 has stabilized at €5.89 per kilo, although prices of up to €7 can be fetched for bunches from grands crus vineyards (1.2kg is required to make one 75cl bottle of Champagne).

Average Champagne grape prices over the past 10 vintages (€ per kilo)

2006 €4.81
2007 €5.11
2008 €5.40
2009 €5.25
2010 €5.36
2011 €5.60
2012 €5.73
2013 €5.80
2014 €5.89
2015 €5.89

2 Responses to “Champagne sales 2015: the facts”

  1. Does the Echelle Des Crus dictates the price of the grapes based on vintages?

  2. Just typing this up for something else when I noticed your question has gone unanswered Christopher, so no problem dumping it here:

    The Echelle des Crus has not dictated the price of grapes (known as the prix obligatoire) since 1990, when under pressure from the EU, which had forbidden this practice as a form of price-fixing, the prix obligatoire was replaced with the prix indicatif and the grape allocations that were inoxerably intertwined with the prix obligatoire were discontinued. The prix indicative was supposedly a guide price only, leaving the actual price paid to be determined by market forces, but the EU made it clear that they intended to be very strict in their enforcement of anti-trust and anti-competitive regulations, consequently in 2000 the CIVC dropped the prix indicative and replaced this with the prix constaté (observed price) and since 2004 it has been the responsibility of the courtiers to report these prices. The last Echelle des Crus issued was 2003 and it no longer applies … for example all premier crus used to be individually classified between 90 and 99%, but all premiers crus are now equal. Also the differentiation between the echelle des crus for black and white grapes in some grands and preiers crus no longer applies, a grand cru is a grand cru regardless of grape variety, ditto a premier cru.

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