From Friday evening, December 10, the large wrought iron gates of the houses of the prestigious avenue de Champagne in Épernay (Marne) will open on the occasion of the Clothes of light. This event has been celebrating the Champagne art of living every year for more than twenty years. Pop-up bars will be installed in courtyards such as at Perrier-Jouët, Mercier, de Castellane and many others… The opportunity for all players in the world of champagne to promote this festive drink.
The Collard-Picard family home is part of the celebration. Its tasting shop is located a few steps from the emblematic Moët & Chandon residence: “The Habits de lumière event brings us great visibility, it allows locals to discover our range of champagne, some of whom become customers. It’s a great evening to promote our heritage, but the financial benefits are not enormous, ”concedes Mélisande Chevallier, receptionist at the Collard-Picard boutique. Because this family house, like many others, makes almost half of its turnover abroad. Still, the boost to the end of the year celebrations is being felt in France. “For the French market, it’s the biggest activity of the year. We make more than 35% of sales between November and the end of December, ”analyzes Franck Lesterlin, Managing Director of Champagne Esterlin.
increase in sales of champagne for export and in France in 2021
according to figures from the Champagne Committee
The year 2021 promises to be a record year for winegrowers and champagne houses, after having experienced a black year due to the health crisis. Shipments of champagne for export and in France thus jumped by 46% in the first half of 2021 (113.9 million bottles sold between January and October). Figures to be handled with caution, according to Franck Lesterlin: “It is true that our shipments are on the rise again in the United States, Europe and South America. And we are in line with this explosion in sales seen everywhere. But it is compared to a year 2020 when we had not sold anything. To better stick to reality, we should compare these figures to those of 2019! “That year, champagne sales were down 1.6% compared to 2018 (297.5 million bottles shipped in France and around the world). Which was already down – 1.8% compared to 2017 (301.9 million bottles).
However, this Friday and Saturday evening, the people of Champagne will be able to taste the finest vintages from the Sparnacian houses at modest prices. “This is the strength of this event, everyone is making an effort on prices to make champagne accessible to all,” adds Champagne Esterlin general manager.
About fifteen houses will offer ephemeral bars with heated marquees and musical entertainment. And this in parallel with the events and activities offered during these three days by the City of Épernay.
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