I always used to tell people that a hectare of prime vineyards in Champagne - in a Grand Cru village - would set you back about a million euros. It seems I'm way behind the times.
I was chatting to a prominent vigneron the other day, who has a very substantial estate, and he told me that he had recently been offered a hectare of Grand Cru at 1.8 million euros! That's a lot of money and it fact it's so much that you'd never get your money back from making champagne - or to put it another way, starting a champagne business these days is simply doesn't make economic sense.
To underline the point, so my source told me, here's what's happended to a few prices over the opast 10 years:
- the price of a hectare of vines has gone up 72%
- the price of a kilogram of grapes has increased 20%
- but the selling price of a bottle of champagne has gone up a mere 1.5%
Who'd be a champagne maker eh?
Never mind, it's much easier being a champagne drinker!