Jiles's Blog

Who Am I?

17 years spent living and working in Champagne has allowed Jiles to build up a vast amount of knowledge about all things bubbly as well as a very extensive network of contacts, especially amongst the smaller and less well-known champagne makers whose champagnes will probably amaze you with their quality and diversity.

A job as area manager for Asia and Australia with Moët et Chandon was what first drew Jiles to Champagne after completing an MBA in Luxury Brand Management at ESSEC, a prestigious business school just outside Paris.

After nearly 9 years at Moët Jiles moved back to the UK where he started one of the first online businesses promoting and selling grower champagnes,

However the draw of ‘The King of Wines and the Wine of Kings’ once again proved irresistible and another 8 year stay in Champagne was the result. During this second stay in Champagne Jiles worked with the Syndicat Général des Vignerons de Champagne as an accedited consultant for small, independent champagne makers before setting up his own consultancy.

Jiles now spends his time between England and Champagne.and puts his knowledge and contacts to work helping wine lovers everywhere learn more about champagne and helping businesses and individuals to create their own private champagne brand.

He is the author of two books on champagne, several concise guides to champagne  and is the creator of an online champagne study course called My Champagne Expert





This month’s Champagne Bulletin (August) is a few days late coming out because I wanted to wait until 2nd September when the official harvest dates in Champagne were announced.

Many of you will not know that, like so many things in Champagne, even the date on which you can start picking is regulated.

Every year the Comité Champagne publishes a list of start dates for every village within the Appellation area; in addition, the start date for each grape variety is stipulated too. You can see an extract from the official timetable in the screenshot below.

Harvest dates


This make perfect sense when you consider the fact that the Champagne region covers an area that is approximately 120 kilometres from the northern most village to the southernmost and roughly the same distance from east to west. Inevitably the weather conditions, and hence the rate at which the grapes reach full maturity, are going to vary considerably and so applying the same start date to everyone would make little sense.

Champagne area


Although the dates are announced quite late in the season – in the case of this year, only about 5 days before picking can start – this doesn’t mean that the dates are decided in a hurry. A great deal of work has been going on over the previous month or more, in villages across the length and breadth of Champagne, to monitor the health of the grapes and the pace at which they are developing.

The size and weight of the bunches are measured; the sugar and acidity levels of the grapes are analysed as well as the potential alcohol content. Likewise, the presence of any sign of disease is carefully watched and weather forecasts meticulously consulted. In this way, by the time the official start dates are announced a broad agreement amongst the vignerons has been reached. If any individual grape grower feels that he or she must start picking before the official start date, they can ask for a what is called a ‘dérogation’ to do so.

As this year’s harvest approaches there is more excitement than usual with the 2023 being hailed by some as something very special although others are more cautious and frankly, a little confused by some of the anomalies that are appearing.

The weather since the beginning of the year has been relatively kind to Champagne: no major damage due to spring frosts, mild weather from then on that allowed the flowering to take place as expected and no dramatic events at all. All this means that there will be plenty of grapes to pick which is welcome news because champagne makers still need to rebuild stocks after a few years in which demand has considerably outstripped supply.

What’s more, the weight of the bunches is breaking all records. In some cases, the weight per bunch is reaching 220 – 240 grams which compares with an average from previous years of about 180 grams per bunch. This phenomenon is due, at least in part, to the increased rainfall in August which, on the positive side, has plumped up the grapes to give more juice, but on the negative side, has diluted the sugar content.

 Ripe grapes

In addition, the rain coupled with warm weather has produced high levels of humidity in recent weeks that have caused outbreaks of mildew and rot. This will require pickers to be extra vigilant so as not to cut any bunches that are badly affected.

Pourriture 2


The big question that all champagne makers will have to decide on is whether to start picking as soon as possible or to wait a few days more.

Starting early might mean that the health of the bunches is optimised by avoiding the risk of rot becoming more widespread, although that choice could mean that the potential alcohol level is below the generally accepted minimum levels of 10 degrees.

On the other hand, waiting a few days more runs the risk of more widespread rot setting in, but increases the chances of the sugar, and hence the potential alcohol, levels nudging up to and over the optimum benchmark.

As ever, this year’s harvest will be one to watch with great interest, but by the end of September much will be revealed.

I'll report back in a few weeks and keep you updated

All the best


Jiles Halling




2023 - So Far So Good

Jiles 1Regular readers of this bulletin will remember how often I have mentioned the shortage of stock that resulted from two small harvests in 2020 and 2021 coupled with a big increase in demand since the end of the worldwide health incident.

The large harvest in 2022 that will gradually bring more bottles onto the market from 2024 onwards, has gone some way to restore the balance between supply and demand but another generous harvest, or two, is needed before one can say things are back to ‘normal’.

It’s encouraging therefore to see that all the signs so far this year would suggest another significant harvest to come in a few months’ time.

Despite a few nights in early Spring when temperatures dropped below freezing point, the damage to the vines was neither widespread nor severe, Generally speaking, temperatures were a little below what we’ve experienced in the past few years and this meant that the budburst was a week or ten days later than might have been expected.

There was some strain on the vines because the winter period was unusually dry, but heavy rain from mid-March through to the end of April, when Champagne had twice the normal number of rainy days, provided a significant amount of water to re-hydrate the soil and fill the underground reserves.

Then right on cue, sunshine and warmer temperatures returned from about mid-May. This accelerated the development of the vines and brought things almost back on track.

Flowering took place between 5th and 15th June which was more or less on the dates expected, although there were the usual variations between different grape varieties: Chardonnay leading the way, followed by the Pinot Noir and finally the Meunier.

The date of flowering has always been a reliable indicator of the date of the harvest. Historically, it used to be that the harvest followed about 100 days after flowering. These days however, 90 days is considered to be more realistic and, on that basis, we should expect picking to start in mid-September.

A lot can happen in 90 days of course, but so far there have been no reports of significant outbreaks of disease and all looks set for exactly the type of generous harvest that is needed to bring stock back into balance with demand.

Having said that, there are some signs that demand is slowing down. Shipments over the past 5 months have dropped by 3.4% versus the previous year and that is a phenomenon seen across all the three regions that are usually monitored: France, European Union and The Rest of the World.

Over the past 12 months total shipments have fallen even more, by 5.2 %, and now stand at 322 million bottles.


Ripe grapesWhether or not that slight decline in demand continues and whether it has any dampening effect on the price of champagne remains to be seen, but right now that doesn’t seem to be the case; in fact the opposite is true because if we look at the figures for 2022 the total value of champagne shipped went up by 10.9% significantly more than the volume increase in that year which was just 1.5%

What’s driving the increase in price?

First is the price of vineyard land which we touched on in last month’s bulletin. After three years of modest falls in price, 2022 saw an average increase of 2.4% over the previous year.

To put that in more concrete terms, the average price in the Marne area was €1,159 million euros per hectare with the other two principal regions being not far behind: €897,000/hectare in the Aube and €840,100/hectare in the Aisne region.

But vineyards in Champagne have always been very expensive. What’s new is the increase in the cost of dry goods and the impact of higher interest rates which have started to have a significant impact over the past year.

The most obvious input into champagne making is the grapes themselves and 2022 saw an increase of 10% in the price of grapes versus 2021. That’s an average increase and the real change has varied from region to region according to the reputation and quality of the village / area in question.

Nevertheless, the average cost per kilo of grapes is now €7 / kg and when you consider that 1.2 kg are needed to make every bottle of champagne, that’s a considerable cost even before you have started to make the wine.

Other input costs have gone up too.

The price of glass bottles, for example has increased by as much as 40% year-on-year. The price of foils, corks and cardboard packing cases has also jumped, although to a lesser extent.

The increase in interest costs has also has a major impact on costs, particularly because the rules about ageing champagne mean that champagne makers are obliged to carry heavy stocks. The rule of thumb is that you need stock in the cellars equivalent to three years of sales.

The very biggest houses have tens of millions of bottles maturing in their cellars whilst a medium sized house with sales of 100,000 – 200,000 bottles will have between 300,000 and 600,000 in stock each on of which has to be financed and if you assume €10 as the cost of each bottle in the cellar, it’s easy to see that large sums of money are tied up in stock and when the interest rate doubles or trebles that adds a huge burden on a company’s finances.

How are champagne houses responding to these challenges?

Jiles 2 verticalThe obvious and simple answer is that they have responded by increasing prices.

The increases on non-vintage cuvées have been a relatively restrained, but even on those wines champagne houses have been at pains to eliminate less profitable sales which is why sales to supermarkets are on the decline and why there are few, if any, promotions offered on champagne in those outlets.

Brands that have succeeded in establishing a strong demand for their prestige cuvées are seizing the chance to push prices up beyond what is needed just to cover the costs of production.

This strategy is referred to as premiumisation. It requires a great deal of confidence in the strength of the brand and a willingness to accept the loss of a certain percentage of customers who choose not to pay the higher prices.

To some extent the direction of travel towards premiumisation is the same for all brands whatever their size and their brand reputation and equally this is necessary, not just to maintain profit margins in an inflationary environment but also the ensure the future of champagne itself in the face of strong competition from many quarters. The variety, quality and price of other sparkling wines are constantly increasing and if champagne is to maintain its status as the world’s pre-eminent sparkling wine, it cannot be seen to be a cheap alternative – it is obliged to be the reference for both high quality and high price.

In short, don’t expect to find much cheap champagne available.

In the next month’s bulletin we’ll report again on the outlook for this year’s harvest and bring you more news of what’s going on behind the scenes in Champagne

All the best


MMIC logo in colour




Changes to labelling regulations

LabelThose of you who are already working with me on a private brand project will have heard me refer to forthcoming changes to legislation regarding labelling in the European Union and I can now give you a few more details.

From December this year additional information, including a list of ingredients, will have to be shown somewhere on the bottles; usually this is on a back label.

To many this new legislation seems very onerous and it has caused much debate in the wine trade with many actors questioning whether consumers actually want or understand this degree information, not to mention the practical issue of finding space on the bottle to display this extra information.

Be that as it may, the legislation is set to come into force from 8th December this year and it cannot be ignored by anyone wanted to sell their product in the EU. However, a few concessions have been made for champagne – more on that below.

The list of new requirements is quite lengthy and may seem rather daunting particularly because precise formulae have been given for calculating the various values to be displayed. A few concessions have been granted for champagne which may alleviate any concerns you may have, but first the list of the extra information as far as it  concerns champagne

List of ingredients in descending order i.e


Sugar content, if added

Concentrated grape juice (if added)

liqueur d’expédition

Other additives

Nutritional value

  • Kilocalories and kilojoules per 100 ml
  • Fat content
  • Saturated fatty acids and other elements such as salt content and protein content per 100 ml
  • Energy value in kcal/kJ

There are, however, three factors that mean that there is no need to panic about the new rules:

a) It will be the champagne maker, not the owner of the private brand who will have to carry out the analysis needed to satisfy the new legislation. This is not to say that the brand owner can ignore the new legislation. It simply means that the brand owner should not normally have to carry out the laboratory analysis him or herself. Mind you, the cost incurred by the champagne maker will no doubt be reflected in the sales price to the brand owner.

b) Printers and associated trades, and of course the CIVC, will no doubt be aware of the new legislation and will be able to advise on the finer points of the regulations.

c) The deadline for applying the new rules has been set at 8th December 2023, but the extended ageing time involved in producing champagne has been taken into account so that the regulations will only apply to champagne made after the deadline.

I take this to mean that only champagne bottled after the deadline will be subject to the new rules. In other words, the rules will not apply to any bottles already in the cellars or bottled and put into the cellars before the deadline.

On a lighter note, one champagne commentator has pointed out that the new rules will allow anyone who is interested to calculate the exact number of calories in a bottle or glass of champagne. The answer will vary slightly according to the dosage of the champagne but it’s approximately 72 calories per glass, about the same as a boiled egg, but perhaps more enjoyable!

The price of vineyards in Champagne

Vineyard viewOccasionally clients ask me if it is possible to buy vineyards in Champagne with view to creating a new brand. In theory it is possible although it would not be something I would recommend and if one looks at the annual survey of sales and prices in 2022 the reasons for my hesitation become apparent.

The survey of sales and prices in 2022 shows that the level of activity as well as the prices are on the rise again after a couple of quiet years.

 Vineyard plots do come up for sale every year, but they are usually small in size, and you’d need to acquire several plots in order to constitute an estate big enough to produce any serious number of bottles.

According to the report by an organisation called SAFER, there were 960 transactions in 2022 for a total of 220 hectares sold or roughly 0.6% of the total area of Champagne appellation.

That means that the average size of each plot sold was just 0.3 hectares. If you then assume that the average production per hectare is about 10,000 bottles, that translates to about 3,000 bottles per plot sold in 2022.

What’s more, the plots available for sale could be many kilometres from one another which is not ideal in terms of managing the vines.

Then, and most importantly, comes the very high price.

The least expensive plots sold last year were in the Aisne region of Champagne where the average price per plot sold was just 840,000 euros.

Using the rough calculation above you’d be paying 252,000 euros for a 0.3-hectare plot from which you could produce just 3,000 bottles – that’s 84 euros per bottle before you have done anything!

That’s in the least expensive area of Champagne. For a prime plot in one of the most prestigious areas such as La Côte des Blancs, the average price per plot sold last year was 1,659,000 euros per hectare.

Far better to work with an existing champagne maker who already has a substantial vineyard estate or who can buy in grapes at a far more economic price.

However, that is increasingly easier said than done…

Continuing pressure on supplies

Bottles in the cellarAs many readers will be aware from my recent Champagne Bulletins, two small harvests in 2020 and 2021 followed in 2022 by a far bigger increase in demand than was expected has put huge pressure on stocks of champagne. Many houses are having to choose between, on the one hand, putting all their customers on allocation in order to supply all of them with something or, on the other hand, ranking their customers and ceasing supplies altogether to the ones they consider least important.

This trend shows little sign of ending in the immediate future as has recently been confirmed by the Champagne brokers association, the SPCVC, whose co-president underlined, at their AGM, that the 325.5 million bottles shipped in 2022 was the third highest on record and that pressure on stocks is still running high and made even stronger by the arrival of new players.

What does this mean for private brands?

There are two aspects to the answer, in my view.

First, on the positive side, the demand for champagne and the fact that there are new brands entering the market reflects the strong attraction of champagne both for consumers around the world and for producers / brand owners who see the current market as offering a good opportunity for premium priced brands and robust sales.

On the other hand, there are fewer champagne makers who have any surplus stock to devote to private brands and many of those that do have stock available prefer to focus on promoting and growing sales of their own brand.

The result is that the search for suppliers of private brand champagne is far more complex than it was just two or three years ago. There are still producers who are interested in this type of project, but unsurprisingly, prices are edging up and the producers are more demanding about who they work with and want to assure themselves of the long-term viability of any new private brand projects.

Opportunities still exist; however, it is even more important than ever for anyone considering launching a private brand to present a solid, well-resourced and well-researched project with a clear strategy and a defined target market.

Light at the end of the tunnel

To finish on a positive note, this is the time of year when the wines from the previous harvest undergo a final tasting before blending and bottling and the buzz about the 2022 vintage is very exciting. The quality is said to be outstanding and there is enough volume to replenish stocks and keep pace with global demand.

Having said this, the champagnes based on the 2022 vintage will not be ready to sell until at least 2025 and probably not until a few years after that.

An easing of the supply issue is on the horizon, but more time and patience is needed before we come out of the woods. Now could be a great time to start working on your future brand plans.

I hope you enjoyed this month’s Champagne Bulletin and I’ll see you again next month.

If you'd like to discuss your own project to create a champagne brand, no matter what stage of planning you have reached, just send me an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can arrange a meeting on Zoom.

Finally, a reminder that I have 3 domain names for sale


www.the winequiz.com


If you're interested in any or all of these, please send me an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;

All the best




In this month’s Champagne Bulletin we’ll look at just two topics which tend – mistakenly - to be overlooked by many people who are considering creating a private champagne brand:

  • Long-term trends for the wine market and
  • The right time to launch a brand

Both of these should help you to look a little further into the future

Long terms trends for the wine market

Crystal BallIf you are considering creating a private champagne brand, a sound appreciation of the market environment is something you need to familiarise yourself with.

Of course, you need a passion for champagne itself but if your project is to succeed, it is essential to look at the wider business environment and to calmly and realistically assess the chances of your brand achieving the success to which you aspire.

That’s not an easy task in an industry that is subject to so many influences and shifting trends.

The world of alcoholic beverages is nothing if not dynamic: new product categories, new consumer groups and new geographic markets constantly evolve to oblige drinks producers to revise their focus and sometimes even completely to change their strategy.

For example, the explosion of interest in gin that led to the opening of hundreds of artisan gin distilleries is now cooling off as many gin distilleries cease operations and as attention seems to be moving towards rum and vodka.

The seemingly limitless profits to be made from selling wine and spirits into China led, just a few years ago, to a rush by drinks companies to capitalise on that potential. Whilst significant opportunities still exist, the enthusiasm has been dampened by the Chinese government’s restrictions on luxury entertaining.

What’s needed to see clearly through all these variables are sources of reliable and detailed information about the state of the market both now and in the future.


Fortunately, publications such as the International Wines and Spirits Record (IWSR) provide us with exactly the sort of information we need.

You can find many of these reports at  https://www.theiwsr.com/news-comment/

but the one we’ll focus on today is called

Key trends for wine in 2023 and beyond

Some of the stand-out phrases in the report don’t make very encouraging reading for anyone involved:


  • wine is a category in slow decline and there are few signs of this changing imminently
  • Fewer people are drinking less wine every year
  • the long-term trend of slowly-declining volumes in many markets expected to continue.

but read further and you’ll find that these headlines hide a much more nuanced reality and that good opportunities still exist for champagne.

Sparkling wine set to buck the trend

On first reading the report  may lead you to conclude that now is just not the right time to consider launching a new wine brand into the market, but the report also highlights some anomalies to the general downward trend for wine

Sparkling wine also came out of the pandemic stronger than it went in. The lack of big, formal celebratory occasions led to Prosecco and Champagne, in particular, being drunk more informally at home, and consumers have reassessed their attitude to the category as a result.

Of course, there are regional variations:

In the US and Canada, for example, sparkling wine is much more likely to be seen as suitable for informal consumption at home than it was pre-2020

Furthermore and, as we have discussed in the Champagne Bulletins over the past year, there is noticeable drive towards high-end products and in particular towards premium champagne.

Premium wines are performing significantly better than their lower-priced counterparts and this should continue over the coming years. Premiumisation may be most evident in the sparkling sector, where premium wines are showing strong growth, but it is also true for still wines, albeit at reduced levels.

Despite the headwinds facing many sectors of the wine industry, Champagne would appear to offer something of a safe haven which goes a long way to explain the flurry of acquisitions we’ve seen in the past year or so (and which we’ve covered in previous Champagne Bulletins) of small to medium size champagne houses by large international groups which still see attractive opportunities ahead for premium champagne.

When to launch?


There are many factors to consider and a helpful way to approach them is to look at two sides of the equation: supply and demand

On the supply side, stocks in Champagne are still very tight. Many houses have introduced an allocation system in an attempt to partially satisfy all existing customers; the idea being that no single customer gets as much as they would like, but they all get something.

A more drastic approach, which was a dilemma I experienced personally a few years ago, is to cease supplying some customers entirely. As you can imagine, this strategy created some very unhappy customers, and you have to have huge confidence in the power of your brand to tempt even these offended customers to order again at some time in future when stocks are available again.

With stocks under so much pressure in Champagne and lead times being very extended at the moment, it is unrealistic to think in terms of a new brand being ready to launch by the end of this year unless you are already well advanced in the brand creation process.

Even if you have already made good progress, do think of securing your future orders by paying a deposit now.

The stock situation will not significantly improve until 2025 at the earliest when the wines from the 2022 harvest start to become available and even that depends on this year’s harvest being of a reasonable size.

On the demand size, do bear in mind that many importers and distributors decide in Spring on the range that will carry at the end of the year, so the first quarter of the year is the time to be pitching your new brand concept to the trade.

To discuss your current or future plans for a champagne brand, please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

All the best




BottlesThe disruption to supply chains caused primarily by government policies in recent years in response to energy and health-related issues, is not showing any sign of improvement, if anything the situation is getting worse.

The latest problems relate to the supply of glass bottles which are a fundamental requirement for wine makers all over the world and France is no exception.

The issue is at the forefront of winemakers’ minds at the moment because this is the time of year when many wine makers are bottling the wine from the 2022 vintage.

According to a report in The Drinks Business, the problem started when many furnaces were forced to reduce production levels during the CVD episode. Today the problem is different but no less severe. It is caused by rocketing energy prices which, according to the report, have gone up by as much as four times over the past couple of years with the result that glass makers have again scaled back production.

Some bottles are no longer being made and others are in very short supply- clear glass for example.

For some types of wine there are alternatives such as cans and, in some cases, paper cartons, but these options are not possible for champagne because of the pressure that the bottles need to withstand and also because of the prestige presentation that consumers expect from a bottle of champagne.

It is not yet clear when and how these supply constraints will ease but ease they must if supply is to keep up with the buoyant demand from around the world.


The principles of supply and demand are well-known and widely accepted: roughly speaking if supply goes up and demand remains stable, the price will fall. Conversely, if demand goes up and supply remains the same, the price must increase.

To put today’s situation into context it’s interesting to take a look at some data about how these two parameters have evolved in Champagne over the past half century or so. First let’s examine the supply as represented by the area planted with vines in the Appellation Champagne.

According to statistics from the Comité Champagne, back in the 1950s there were only some 12,000 hectares planted with vines. For the next 60 years or so the area under vine has been on a constant and rapid upward trend reaching 30,000 + hectares around 2010: an increase of almost three times.

Since 2010 there has been very little change because we are almost at the limit of the total 34,200 hectares authorised in the appellation - a total which is more theoretical than attainable since there are always a significant number of hectares lying fallow for a year or two to allow the soil to recover after old vines have been uprooted.

Area Planted in AOC

In this context one might expect the price of champagne to have fallen in the same proportion as the increase in supply, but other factors are at play; although the area under cultivation has increased, the yield in terms of the quantity of grapes harvested ( called the rendement) has not followed the same pattern.

As the chart below shows, there was approximately a threefold increase in the rendement between 1950 and about 2010, but from then to the present day the rendement has decreased.

The brown line shows the yield each year and the black line shows the 10 year average



The recent decrease is due to a number of factors amongst which are an awareness that preserving the health of the soil is not compatible with ever-increasing yields, and a greater focus on the quality of the grapes rather than solely on the quantity. These considerations have led to a deliberate reduction in the amount of fertilizer used resulting in fewer grapes per square metre and a reduced weight per bunch.

This then, is a second factor at play in the supply side of the equation. Let’s now look at demand.

In this chart you can’t see the exact numbers involved but the inexorable increase in sales is obvious despite the occasional blip along the way. (source: Comité Champagne)


Champagne shipments

Sales in 1947 were just 21.5 million bottles

By 1956 they had more than doubled to 44 million

By 1967 they had doubled again to 93 million bottles and from then on things really took off

100 million bottles by 1970

200 million bottles in 1986

300 million in 1999 and since then sales have settled at around 310 million bottles + in years that are not disrupted by one crisis or another.

I’ll leave you to do the maths, but that’s a pretty impressive percentage increase – far greater than the increase in supply -  and it’s fairly constant over the long-term making champagne a very attractive business to be in.

To summarise, demand has more than kept pace with the increase in supply and over the past two years the strength of that demand has increased yet again with the inevitable result that prices are firming up considerably as is evidenced by the fact that the total ex cellars value of sales exceeded 6 billion euros for the first time in 2022 – of course, at consumer level the figure is much higher still.

Added to this is the fact that the area of the Appellation Champagne is limited and even if a decision is taken one day to increase the area, that increase is unlikely to be very substantial, so the argument for higher prices for champagne continues to look very persuasive.


Champagne drinkingExport sales are the driving force behind the increase in demand for champagne in recent years.

It was the case for many years that the French drank more champagne per year than the rest of the world put together – exports accounted for less than half total sales.

That situation reversed about a decade ago and since then a combination of factors has made the divide between domestic sales in France and exports all the more significant.

An increasing concern about alcohol abuse led to severe restrictions in France on advertising and promoting alcohol, and a decline in young people drinking wine has also had an impact.

Many voices complained that champagne has an old-fashioned image and was consumed mainly by older people. Whilst this may still be true statistically, a number of initiatives have been put in place to make champagne a drink to be enjoyed by a much wider audience both geographically and in terms of age group.

This, coupled with  the increasing prosperity in many developing countries and the rise of a middle class with discretionary income and a desire to enjoy what they perceive as some of the luxuries of life, is what is driving the boom in export sales.

The first shipment figures for 2023 only confirm this trend. For the 12 month period up to January 2023 sales were buoyant at 327 million bottles with the majority of these being in export markets whilst in France sales were down 2% versus last year.

Looked at overall, the champagne story today seems to be repeating what has occurred over the past 70 years. It’s a story of inexorable growth punctuated by repeated crises which only goes to demonstrate the extraordinary resilience and appeal of champagne.

That's a thought worth raising a glass to - champagne of course.

Until next month