Before October was all over a number of 320 million bottles was already sold. And since the sales of champagne normally peaks in the last quarter of the year - shopping for the parties of Christmas and New Year's Eve puts it's heavy finger prints in the sales statistics - it is expected that 2006 must finally beat the record of the Millenium.
The sales back in 1999 reached the exorbitant heights of 327 million bottles. Quite a few of them however were bought to stock, which made the sales decline remarkably the following year.
England and Spain
Just about one out of two bottles of champagne is drunk in France. It used to be six out of ten bottles. The growth of sales is thus due to export. The development is in other EU-countries, the States and the exotic hopes for the future such as India and China.
In 2006 the English and the Spanish have bought plentiful amounts of champagne.
British Sainsbury's talks about a progress of 3.000 percent in the sales of the supermarket's own label, says Decanter.com. Probably helped by several blind tastings that this autumn gave really good notes to several of the British supermarket champagnes.
In Spain the sales from July 2005 to July 2006 has grown 40 percent according to La Journée Vinicole. Not bad in a country with its own big production of cava. The Spanish market with three million bottles remains at only one tenth of the British.
Possible pressure of stocks
Yves Benard, who is chairman of the organisation, that represents houses such as Veuve Clicquot, Boizel-Chanoine and Vranken-Pommery Monopole, foresees more growth in 2007 yet in a more moderate tempo, writes the British newsagency Reuters.
He points to the fact, that stocks may be put under pressure. This is what is feared more than anything: That you cannot cope with demand with unwanted increases of prices and followed by the risk of decrease as the result.
The final numbers of the sales of 2006 are expected in February.
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