Champagne makers are raising a glass themselves — to what is expected to be a record year of sales for the bubbly libation.
The industry – located exclusively in the Champagne region of northeast France — is on track to sell 315 million bottles in 2021, with sales totaling $6.2 billion, France24 reported.
The banner year was propelled by stir-crazy consumers weathering coronavirus-lockdowns with more intimate entertaining — and drinking — at home.
“The pandemic has created new consumer habits,” Jean-Marie Barillere, co-president of the CIVC Champagne industry association told Agence France-Presse. “Everything related to entertaining at home is in high demand, including champagne.”
The sales are a welcome development for French vineyards, which have been buffeted by unseasonable weather including a sharp spring frost and summer rains.
The good news may be dampened by the emergence of the new COVID-19 variants, including Omicron, which may impact sales heading into the December holiday season as governments worldwide weigh new restrictions.