Champagne regains fizz

16 March, 2012

The Champagne Bureau has reported increased shipments in 2011. Total shipments worldwide rose from 319.5 million bottles in 2010 to 323 million in 2011.

The high from the last decade was 2007, with 338.8m and the low was 2002 with 287.7million.

The UK remains the largest export market for champagne, taking 34.5 million bottles in 2011. 181.6 million bottles stayed in France and the US was the second largest export market at 19.4 million bottles.

In the UK, non-vintage is still the largest in volume and value, representing 86.9% and 79.7% of the market respectively.

Bruno Paillard, president of Champagne Bruno Paillard and CIVC chairman commission communication & appellation Champagne spoke about protecting the Champagne appellation. He expressed frustration with the US and Russian markets, which do not recognize the name champagne as a geographical indication.

He said in the US, the "problem" is only limited to three or four producers – including Constellation and Gallo.

US law permits the use of the term champagne via grandfather rights, although the wines cannot be exported to the European Union.

The Champagne Bureau has an informal joint declaration of wine places and origins, which many regions of the US have signed, including Napa Valley Vintners, Oregon Wine and Washington State. You can read more about that here.

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