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Australia’s Champagne love affair

Australians have parked their wine rivalry with France to drink record amounts of Champagne and the trend shows little sign of abating according to the latest results from drinks maker Pernod Ricard. But growers have reason to feel left out...

In brief

  • Pernod Ricard reports strong Mumm and Perrier-Jouët sales in Australia

  • Australians drinking record amount of Champagne – 8 million bottles imported in 2015

  • But expert Tyson Stelzer warns grower Champagne is being sidelined

Full story

Pernod Ricard reported this week in its full-year results that it saw very strong sales growth for both its Mumm and Perrier-Jouët Champagnes in Australia.

That helped the French drinks giant’s sales globally in the year to the end of June. It is also more evidence of Australia’s infatuation with France’s premier sparkling wine.

Around 117 million euros-worth of Champagne was shipped to Australia in 2015, making it the seventh largest export market by value, according to France’s Comité Champagne.

In volume terms, Australia jumped ahead of Italy into sixth place. France shipped 8.1m million bottles of Champagne to Australia last year.

Tyson Stelzer, Australia-based Decanter contributor and Champagne expert, said, ‘It’s remarkable that on last year’s statistics, Australia is now the fastest-growing Champagne market on the planet, registering almost 25% growth in the number of bottles sold in 2015.’


But, Australians have shown themselves to be very price conscious.

‘Of Champagne’s top 10 markets in 2015, Australia ranked the highest in proportion of non-vintage Champagne consumed, lowest in rosé and second-lowest in prestige Champagne,’ said Stelzer.

‘Recent trends in Australia point to a crisis for grower Champagne’

Australian wine drinkers have not joined the rising interest elsewhere in grower Champagne.

‘Sales of grower Champagnes have crashed by more than half in Australia over the past four years,’ said Stelzer, who has just returned from his Taste Champagne event series in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

‘Globally, there has long been talk of a Champagne grower revolution, but recent trends in Australia point to nothing short of a grower crisis.’

Grower Champagne makes up less than 1% of total Champagne sales in Australia.

Read more about the grower crisis on Tyson Stelzer’s wine blog

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