The Champagne category has been gaining attention in recent years. However, exports from French Champagne producers have continued to fall by more than 20% in recent months.
Image courtesy of: Wine Business Watch
The 12 hectares of vineyards in Bruyette (Marne), west of Reims, France, are the gardens of a Champagne winery that has been passed down for five generations. Today, Paul-Vincent Ariston, heir to the estate and winemaker, is doubly concerned about the current situation. Although the winery is still operating despite the epidemic, sales of Champagne have stagnated.
Since the outbreak in Europe, the winery"s sales have dropped by 30%. This is different from an industry that suspends production; the winery's production cycle cannot be stopped, yet daily expenses keep accumulating and if we are unable to sell product, there is no cash flow." The winemaker expressed concern about the status quo.
Stphane Vignon, a winegrower in Verzenay in the Reims mountains, also said that the closure of restaurants and bars had led to a drop in sales of champagne for the operator. The export market has also been very frustrating this year. Last year, we exported 1,200 bottles of champagne to the United States, while this year we only exported 350 bottles.
If the winery has no income for a long time, all work on the vineyard will stop. John-Charles Ricciuti manages a winery with 15 hectares of vineyards in Avene-Valdol (Marne), 30 km south of Reims. He wants to remain optimistic, even if the quarantine caused by the epidemic is gradually losing his customers. We are worried about Christmas sales because most of the Christmas fairs have been cancelled this year and the visitors from previous years will not be there," he admits.