IWSR reports that Australia is one of two key global growth areas for Champagne sales, alongside the United States.
While the total wine category is in volume decline, Prosecco and Champagne continue to grow, and the high-end is gaining across all sparkling wine segments.
“Pent-up demand to celebrate weddings, holiday gatherings and other personal milestones after the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic has helped to accelerate growth of sparkling wine in many markets,” IWSR reports.
“A change of attitude is also a key driver, with the drink moving away from exclusive association with formal events and special occasions, to one that can be enjoyed in more relaxed contexts and more frequently.
“Premium-and-above Prosecco growth is driven by strong demand in the US and the UK, where volumes grew 8% and 5% respectively, in the first half of 2022 versus the first half of 2021.
“Champagne growth is centred on the US and Australia; and light aperitifs are growing in Spain thanks to growing daytime consumption.
Christmas Champagne shortage presents sparkling opportunities
Following reports of a Champagne shortage in Australia this summer, Australian Grape & Wine is encouraging lovers of sparkling wine to explore what Australia has to offer.
“The Champagne region of France might lay claim to the well marketed term ‘Champagne’; however, many Australian producers use exactly the same winemaking technique and grape varieties to produce world-beating sparkling wines,” said Anna Hooper, Australian Grape & Wine’s Manager of Industry Policy.
“If you enjoy Champagne but want to explore Australian sparkling, ask for a Méthode Traditionnelle” said Ms Hooper. “You’ll find you can often buy a higher quality vintage Australian sparkling for the same price as a non-vintage Champagne and that’s exactly what I’ll be doing this Christmas.”
In addition to traditional blends of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, the beauty of Australia’s sparkling offering stems from its diversity of styles, varietals and regions. Australian Prosecco offers wine lovers a refreshing alternative, although the grape variety name is under threat from the EU’s push to ban Australian producers from using the variety in Australia.
“The Australian public is rallying behind Australia’s Prosecco producers who are defending their legitimate rights to using the name Prosecco,” said Australian Grape & Wine’s Damien Griffante, Director of Strategy and International Affairs.
“What better way to show your support than by purchasing some Australian Prosecco this summer – I already have my bottle of King Valley Prosecco in the Fridge ready for Christmas Eve.”
Director of Communications & Engagement Ali Laslett, recommends people look for a high quality Australian sparkling Rosé to enjoy on New Years Eve.
“It’s become a tradition in our house to enjoy a great bottle of Australian sparkling Rosé to see in the new year and I’ll be turning towards one of my favourites from Orange,” Laslett said.
And for a uniquely Australian take on bubbles, why not try a sparkling red?
“A chilled sparkling shiraz is my favorite way to kick off Christmas lunch,” said Australian Grape & Wine’s Chief Executive, Lee McLean.
“I’ll be sharing a bottle of sparkling Shiraz from the Barossa Valley this year and raising a glass to the growers and winemakers who contribute so much to local economies across Australia’s 65 wine regions.
“Whatever you choose to enjoy this summer, whether it is sparkling, red, white or fortified wines, we want you to choose Australian. And we also want you to stay safe and make the right decisions in relation to how much you’re drinking. DrinkWise offers loads of advice and information for people to refer to and I strongly encourage you to visit www.drinkwise.org.au for more information.”
So instead of fretting about a Champagne shortage, Australian Grape & Wine is calling on all Australian wine lovers to choose Australian sparkling this summer.
If you enjoy a special bottle of Australian wine over summer, you can show your support by posting a photo of what’s in your glass on social media using the #chooseaustralianwine hashtag!