The closure of bars and restaurants has reduced the consumption of champagne. In some Champagne producers, production lines are at a standstill and stocks are piling up. As a result of the epidemic, the French Champagne industry has already lost €1 billion in 2020.
Image courtesy of; Wine Business Watch
The Champagne industry is in the grip of gloom in the face of the effects of the epidemic. Like most champagne producers, Charles Duval-Leroy, shareholder of the Duval-Leroy Champagne House in Fortunes (Marne), says that even in the new year, there is no joy. He describes the fate of the grapes on his estate: With the closure of restaurants and the suspension of airlines leading to poor sales, a third of the grapes produced here have not yet been picked this year and we have left them to rot in the vineyard or to be eaten by birds.
In terms of sales, only a very small number of Champagne lovers are currently coming to the estate as visitors to experience and buy, which is the only source of income for the estate. Charles Duval-Leroy lamented: "This epidemic has been a complete disaster for the Champagne industry. We grow great grapes, we maintain our operations as best we can, we've worked hard for a long time. Leaving 30% of the grapes in the vineyard is heartbreaking and hopeless.
In recent weeks, production of Champagne at the estate has come to a complete halt. In the cellars of the estate, stocks are piling up. The 600,000 bottles that have been bottled have remained unsold since the outbreak of the new European crown in March. 15 million euros were spent on the daily consumption of this estate in 2020, a year in which the entire Champagne industry has lost more than 1 billion euros.