The head of the UK importer of Bollinger, one of Champagne's most storied houses, is unhappy with how the region is being promoted. Andrew Hawes of Mentzendorff tells The Drinks Business that “Champagne doesn’t speak enough about where it is,” and also points out key facts differentiating the region and its wine that need to be emphasized. These include the large volume of reserve wines from different vintages producers like Bollinger use to blend into non-vintage cuvées and the secondary fermentation in the bottle that makes Champagne distinct from lower cost competitors.
With sparkling wine sales of Prosecco and similar entrants in the category strongly rising in the UK while Champagne sales fall, Hawes concludes, "Sparkling wine is a real trend, it’s here, it’s massive, and we need to accept that and look for the positives.”
How can Champagne better compete among so many choices for high quality, lower price sparkling wine?