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Castelnau launches second Hors Catégorie cuvée as it looks to double sales

Published:  25 April, 2018

Champagne Castelnau last night launched Hors Catégorie cuvée - the second prestige cuvée to be released as part of the premium collection.

The second addition to Hors Catégorie, which translates to ‘beyond categorisation’ and is named after the toughest mountain passes of the Tour de France of which Castelnau is the official Champagne, is named CCF 2067 after Col de la Croix de Fer at 2067 metres.

The first Champagne in the Hors Catégorie collection was launched in 2016 and named CT 2115 after Col du Tourmalet at 2115 metres.

The most premium in Castelnau’s Champagne portfolio, each Hors Catégorie cuvée release is a limited edition of 3,600 bottles, retailing for around £100 in the UK.

Dominantly Pinot Meunier, which is relatively unusual for a prestige Champagne, the blend had been created to “challenge the conventional wisdom that prestige Champagnes should be Chardonnay or Pinot Noir dominant”, said general manager, Keith Isaac MW.

The latest edition formed part of Castelnau’s strategy to grow its presence in the UK on-trade, he added.

“Our main focus is to target the on-trade and claim a bigger share of the premium end of the market,” he said, adding it was “the best way to grow”.

Currently selling just under one million bottles of Castelnau globally, the ambition was to double this to two million by 2025, he told Harpers.

To achieve this, the business has reviewed its on-trade sales team in the past 18 months, recruting three new people, with plans to grow the team further throughout this year, he added.

“Our growth plans are ambitious and to fulfil them we will be investing significantly in people, marketing and plant,” said Isaac.

In a bid to get its bottles in front of consumers, the producer is also extending its presence within duty-free with new partnerships in the pipeline in addition to its existing ones, primarily British Airways.

Last year, Champagne Castelnau unveiled new contemporary branding to reflect its “premium image and adventurous attitude” - the reaction to the overhaul had been “very well received” universally, he said.

This year marks the sixth consetive year of Champagne Castelnau as the official Champagne of Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), owners and organisers of the Tour de France.