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Champagne Castelnau and Nicolas Feuillatte finalise merger deal

Published:  17 December, 2021

Two of Champagne’s most important cooperatives reached an historic agreement this week, creating a powerful new stakeholder in the region.

Signed on 15 December, the merger saw CRVC-Champagne Castelnau and Centre Vinicole-Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte (CV-CNF) join forces to create a new sparkling behemoth: Terroirs et Vignerons de Champagne.

The deal is extremely ambitious in its scope and remit, uniting approximately 6,000 individual growers who cultivate some 3,000 hectares of vineyards.

By way of comparison, the total amount of vineyards in the appellation is around 34,000ha.

This capacity will allow Terroirs et Vignerons de Champagne to potentially market 24 million bottles of Champagne per annum.

Véronique Blin, president of Centre Vinicole-Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte, commented: “The creation of this new group is a reflection of the continued consolidation of more and more players in Champagne as well as the need for a restructuring of the cooperative model. It is a response to the downward spiral in vineyard sales observed since the last crisis in Champagne in 2008 where the appellation saw the loss of 40 million bottles on the French market."

Emmanuel Comyn, president of CRVC-Champagne Castelnau, added: “This movement will make it possible to place additional value on the concepts of cooperation and sharing, two values that are more important than ever in today's world. By becoming one of the three major operators in Champagne, we now have the power to valorise the cooperative model in every single way - an incredible opportunity."

Christophe Juarez has been appointed CEO of the new group and will assume his new role on 1 January 2022, reporting directly to Blin.

Juarez joined the CV-CNF in 2017 as CEO with the ambition to develop the notoriety of the largest Union of cooperatives in Champagne through a solid commitment to premiumisation and international expansion.