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Global thirst for Champagne drives staggering new price highs

Published:  06 April, 2022

Champagne sales surpassed pre-pandemic levels last year, with over 320 million bottles shipped worldwide and the US overtaking the UK as Champagne’s top export market by volume.

Over the last five years, Champagne’s value sales on Bordeaux Index’s fine wine trading platform, LiveTrade, have risen by a staggering 90% to over $20m, with the most significant part of the gains occurring last year.

Matthew O’Connell, CEO of Bordeaux Index’s market-leading LiveTrade online fine wine trading platform, said: “Champagne’s market performance – largely across the board as far as prestige cuvées are concerned – was nothing short of staggering in the second half of 2021.

“A combination of global hospitality reopening and increased ultra-wealthy collector focus on the category – especially in Asia and the US-led to a supply squeeze and prices ‘gapping’ upwards.”

The outsized demand has been a key driver of sharply increasing prices, with LiveTrade data showing prestige Champagne prices up 36% in 2021 and 15% in 2022 YTD, a performance which compares to UK Equities having posted +14% and 2%, respectively.

Louis Roederer’s Cristal was Bordeaux Index’s top-selling Champagne last year, thanks to the cuvee enjoying strong demand across the 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2014 vintages.

The ultra-exclusive Salon saw the greatest price gains in 2021 (2002 vintage +105% to £1250/bottle) – unsurprising given that UHNW buying for consumption and “hard asset” investment was such a key driver.

More broadly, and on the same theme, super-premium vintages such as 2002 and 2008 saw the biggest price rises across Krug, Cristal and Dom Perignon.

O’Connell added: “Champagne’s momentum from 2021 is likely to continue across the year, with prices already up another 15%, while there are interesting questions around the role of climate change in further supporting price gains, looking ahead over the medium term, with a 2021 harvest that was decimated by challenging conditions.”