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Sunday 31 October 2021

Crisis time in Champagne

Christmas is fast approaching and Champagne producers are in crisis as they try to meet the annual peak domestic demand.

At the time of a huge influx of orders for the festive season, the Champenoise are suffering from a shortage of crucial stock.

“We are short of everything: wire caps, neck labels, boxes, foil caps,” Maxime Toubart, chairman of the Champagne producers’ organisation (SGV) told French industry website Vitisphere.

“Winegrowers had no stocks left because they were afraid of what the future might hold; then they all stocked up at the same time, ” said Julien Lévêque, manager of label printing company Imprim'éclair, based in Épernay, which has 800 clients.

Christophe Mendez, managing director of the Sparflex group, the international leader in capsules which is based in Champagne and Hendaye, said that that demand has sky-rocketed since June-July.

“In two months, we have been overwhelmed by incoming orders, which represent the equivalent of five months of normal orders. With a surge this great, even with highly efficient equipment, you cannot absorb it.”

The crisis is largely a domestic one. Orders for Australia, the US and other overseas markets have already been shipped.

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