Champagne – falling sales, rising profits

Bottles at the 2019 MW champagne tasting in San Francisco

New York-based Charles Curtis MW, fine wine advisor and writer formerly with Christie's, outlines some harsh truths about champagne sales.

Alarm bells are sounding for some in Champagne as volumes continue to drop. Total shipments in 2018 were just over 301 million bottles, the nadir for the decade. At the same time, however, turnover reached an all-time high of more than €4.9 billion.  The key would seem to be rising sales of prestige cuvées in high-value export markets. A look at the robust US market as the Institute of Masters of Wine completed its 15th annual champagne tasting in San Francisco...