The AOP Limoux

Crémant ready to pop

13 April, 2023

A campaign called Alsace Rocks, put together by Vins d’Alsace, the appellation’s governing body, has been rolled out in an attempt to communicate all the region’s wines better to younger consumers. But given that crémant all over Europe and the US is being drunk by younger people, the sparkling wine could be the key to refreshing the region’s image. This also puts more emphasis on the importance of growing exports in the future.

But when asked about the relationship between the different appellations, Royal says: “We’re definitely all competitors, certainly domestically, because each region makes different styles of wine and in France it’s generally known what each appellation produces. But I’d say internationally we need to be collaborative.”

Crémant de Bourgogne

And last, but certainly not least, we arrive in Burgundy. Crémant de Bourgogne is made up of white and rosé wines consisting of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Gamay grapes. Right now, Burgundy still wines are fetching some of the highest prices at auctions around the world, which puts Crémant de Bourgogne in a slightly different position.

Famille Piffaut owns four wine houses in Burgundy, including crémant brand Veuve Ambal, and president Aurélien Piffaut says it’s one of the biggest crémant producers in the region, making around 9 million bottles a year. “Burgundy has a big name, so it’s recognised around the world,” says Piffaut. “The biggest issue we have is competition for volume because demand is so high for all styles of Burgundy wines that it’s difficult to grow.”

However, what Piffaut suggests is that this fierce competition for space could push up the price point of Crémant de Bourgogne, and because the region shares a similar winemaking process and almost the same terroirs of Champagne, this natural increase is justified.

One of the recurring themes which developed throughout the conversations with producers from the different appellations was that, while domestically there’s competition, there’s a desire to work together overseas to promote the whole category. But as crémant appears more and more overseas the timing could be perfect. A repeated rhetoric is that consumers continue to celebrate occasions more frequently post-Covid, but with a simultaneous cost of living crisis, the equation for crémant growth makes sense.

Yet the catalyst for increasing exports and gaining greater respect overseas is for some producers, not all of them, to demand higher prices. After all, the history, terroir and production methods are consistently likened to those of champagne, but not the value.

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