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Australia's Champagne Report Card

Australia’s 2017 Champagne Report Card Is In

A little over a year ago, I wrote a post calling on Aussie champs-fans to lift our game! Twelve months later and we’ve got a new Champagne record and under 55s officially dominate!

The call to arms was based on the 2016 report on Champagne exports released from the Comité Champagne which showed for the first time in six years, champagne exports to Australia had fallen.

Well, Australia’s 2017 Champagne report card is in and (drum roll please!)… my challenge to our nation worked. Because this year (2017) we had a record year! According to the 2017 Comité Champagne report, in 2017, Champagne producers shipped 8.5 million bottles to Australia. More than any other year EVER and a whopping 16% increase on 2016.

From the 2017 Comité Champagne Report

OK… so I don’t really think it was me and my blog post that helped the stats jump like they did.

But I did find something particularly interesting (and surprising) in Australia’s 2017 Champagne report card.

According to the 2017 Comité Champagne report…

.Under 55s are dominating champagne consumption in Australia. 

In terms of age groups, according to Australia’s 2017 Champagne report card…

  • 35% of champagne consumers are under 34,
  • 35% are between 35 and 54 years and
  • 30% are over 55 years old

Now there are two obvious impacts of these age stats that I think impact HOW we consume champagne in Australia…

  • Yes – we consume a lot of NV in Australia (89.7%). And generally, we have restricted disposable income because we have mortgages and raise kids in our 30s and 40s (source of stats – I just think it!).  Yet we still like to wine-down or party on with our champs, but we can’t go crazy with frequent, expensive champagne purchases.
  • And we also consume a lot of champs from big houses in Australia (96.4% of what we drink is from a champagne house). Again, mortgages and kids mean we love a bargain and the big liquor retailers make it easy to bag a bottle of Bolly on the way home from work for $70. Or much less on Veuve, Moet, Piper, Lanson, Mumm etc.

The big houses have huge volumes to sell and big marketing budgets to work with… and they do a cracking job of the marketing in bars, at events and online.

Which is why I am working on a theory (or I probably should call it a strategy)

I think there is HUGE potential for us champs fans in our 30s and 40s to get to know the new generation of champagne makers who are also in their 30s and 40s.

In the grower champagne market (read my blog about growers here), there are so many young, exciting winemakers trying new things that I honestly believe the more we get to know them and their wines, the more we are going to love and demand their wines here in Australia. But we won’t drink what we don’t know!

So I am on a mission to meet and share the stories of as many grower champagne makers and small house producers when I visit Champagne in June/July.

And can we make a deal? I’ll do the intros, (I’ll write stories and share video interviews and tastings and tell you where you can buy the wines) if you promise to BUY their wines. And then I promise to ask them to send us more!

Thanks to new small businesses like Emperor Champagne, no matter where you live in Australia you can get your hands on exciting champagnes!

Australia’s 2017 champagne report card…

In 2017, there were in total 381 champagne houses (-1), 4,278 growers (-87), and 42 cooperatives (=).

According to Australia’s 2017 Champagne report card, we now get 114 houses (+14), 119 growers (+7) and 14 cooperatives (=) exported to Australia.

From the 2017 Comité Champagne report

In contrast, the US and the UK get more variety (see below) but while the US market grew by 5.9% (not as much as us!), exports to the UK dropped for the second year in a row… this time by 11%!

  • US – Maisons 179 (+2) Vignerons 322 (+39) Coopératives 26 (+3)
  • UK – Maisons 155 (+1) Vignerons 186 (-14) Coopératives 22 (=)

Looking at what we drink in terms of producers, the 2017 Comité Champagne report shows our stats are all unchanged from last year…

  • 4% of the champs we drink was from big houses
  • 6% from growers and
  • 5% from co-ops

Style stats from the 2017 Comité Champagne report

Australia’s 2017 Champagne report card can’t hide the fact that we are still pretty vanilla in our tastes… but we are spending more on champagne.

  • cuvée de prestige champagnes (the top end!) saw the most growth in the last 12 months and
  • while we have seen an increase in 15.5% in the volume we drink we saw a 23% increase in value (what we spent).

There was a tiny bit of movement away from Brut NV … woohoo!

  • 7% Brut NV (slightly less than 2016 when it was 92%)
  • 8% cuvée de prestige (2016 was 1.6%). Small increase on the overall stats in reality, imports of prestige cuvées doubled since 2016!
  • 3% rosé (2016 was 3%) – this meant a 24.5% increase in rose imports!
  • 9% vintage (2016 was 1.4%) – this was actually a huge 55.9% increase in shipments of vintage champagne
  • 7% demi-sec (2016 was 1.1%)
  • 7% other (2016 as 0.8%)

You can see the full 2017 Comité Champagne report here and don’t forget our deal… I’ll bring the stories, you buy the champs!

If you try any champagnes, please let me know what you think! Make sure you post a pic and tag @bubbleandflute #bubbleandflute #happychampers

Bubble & Flute promotes the responsible consumption of alcohol for individuals of legal drinking age in their country.


AUD: Australian dollar (AUD$)