The amount of Champagne imported by Australia in 2019, fell by 8.7 per cent on the previous year to 7.7 million. Turnover also subsequently fell by 7.9 per cent to €113.5 million ($192.1m).

But it’s not all bad news with research from Comité Champagne, the association which represents the region, showing that Champagne retains a strong reputation among Australians.

The Comité Champagne said that 89 per cent of legal drinking age Australians are familiar with the appellation and 37 per cent purchase Champagne. Champagne has also won over young consumers with almost one in two Champagne purchasers (47 per cent), being aged between 18 and 34.

Speaking about the region’s 2019 as a whole, Comité Champagne Director General, Vincent Perrin, said: “In 2019, despite the uncertain global context, Champagne continued to enjoy growth worldwide. For the second year running, exports overtook sales within France, where new legislation limiting promotional offers had a severe impact on Champagne sales, particularly in the supermarket sector.

“As a direct result of this new dynamic, 2019 set a new record for turnover, which climbed to over €5 billion for the first time. This value creation was the result of two phenomena: firstly, the development of distant markets, where Champagne is highly valued, and, secondly, premiumisation and diversification of the market in terms of cuvées – both signs that consumers outside France appreciate the diversity on offer from Champagne producers.

“This mixed year has led Champagne houses and winegrowers to increase their efforts to educate consumers about Champagne, via the platform, and to enhance the appellation’s desirability, by speeding up the region’s green transition.”

In Australia Champagne Houses account for 96.0 per cent of the total volume exported to Australia, but saw a 9.6 per cent decrease in 2019. Winegrowers and cooperatives, on the other hand, returned to growth after a difficult 2018 (+20.6 per cent and +24.6 per cent respectively, by volume).

The Australian market is dominated by non-vintage brut Champagnes (89.9 per cent of volume compared to 78.5 per cent of exports), at the expense of rosé in particular, which 4.7 per cent of the market compared to 10 per cent of exports.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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