Argument: Champagne producers are taking action to combat shortages
Jacob Gaffney , Champagne Producers Dismiss Rumors of Supply Squeeze, August 20, 2007 ” This year, the market for Champagne is set to grow 7 to 8 percent, and we need to bring it closer to 2 percent,” said Daniel Lorson, communications director of the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC), the trade association of the grapegrowers and houses of Champagne, France. “We have to accept that we have to limit our growth.” But he was quick to point out that several measures are underway to increase production to satisfy demand.
For starters, 865 acres of vines were planted this year alone, which leaves only a few hundred acres left for new plantings in the 84,016-acre region. The Institut National des Appellations d’Origine, which governs France’s Appellations d’Origine Contrôlée, is even looking at the possibility of expanding the borders of Champagne to allow for even more planting, according to the CIVC (but such a move won’t happen for several years, as tests need to be performed on soil samples in outlying areas to make sure any added land will have similar terroir to Champagne–and a years-long approval process would follow).
Other large producers remain optimistic. Thierry Gasco, winemaker for Reims-based Pommery, denied that there is a shortage, and confirmed his plans to keep growth staunchly at 2 percent per year. But that’s not to say that the large Champagne house hasn’t had the odd supply problem in the past.”