EU reports first drop in sparkling wine exports in a decade

The European Union’s exports of sparkling wine to the rest of the world fell in 2020 for the first time in a decade, according to Eurostat data, largely due to a massive drop in champagne sales, although that prosecco and cava have sold well.

The COVID-19 pandemic put the brakes on the global wine trade in 2020, the latest year for which data is available, as restaurants and bars have been closed for long periods.

Champagne was hit the hardest. Sales outside the EU of the famous French sparkling wine fell by more than 20% in volume to 66 million liters in 2020, from nearly 84 million liters the year before.

This largely contributed to an overall drop of 6% in EU sparkling wine exports in 2020 compared to 2019, according to Eurostat data.

EU exports fell from a peak of 528 million liters in 2019 to 494 million liters in 2020, almost double the level recorded in 2010.

Champagne sees a significant drop

Of the three main categories of sparkling wines exported from the EU, only champagne recorded a significant drop in volume.

Prosecco, which is by far the most exported, recorded non-EU sales of 205 million liters in 2020, compared to nearly 207 million liters in 2019.

Cava, produced in Spain, has turned the tide by increasing its extra-EU exports by more than 10% to 58 million liters in 2020, moving closer to replacing champagne as the EU’s second-most sparkling wine. sold outside the block of 27 countries.

Total sales of champagne, including in the EU, fell 18% in volume in 2020, producer group CIVC estimated.

Despite the decline in volume sales, vintage champagnes have proven to be a lucrative appeal to investors over the past year, outperforming all major financial market assets, from big tech to bitcoin.

The 2002 vintage of the Salon le Mesnil jumped by more than 80% in value in 2021 on online platforms.

News by Reuters, edited by MY. For more information on drinks, click here. Click on subscribe to subscribe ESM: European Magazine of Supermarkets.

Mary I. Bruner