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February 2019
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  • Champagne 7:  CIVC and price. 
Each year the committee (Le Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC)) determines the price per kilogram of champagne grapes. It also intervenes to regulate the size of the harvest and to limit the production of wine in order to maintain market prices.  The major labels produce wine in such quantity that they cannot sensibly manage exclusively from their own vineyards. Consequently, they purchase either grapes to press themselves or juice from other growers (more on this later). The price that growers can charge against the regulated price is determined by their classification. So, for example, a grower that is classified at Grand Cru (95% - 100%) can charge its classification percentage, say, 98% of the defined price. Most mass market produced champagne from the major labels will be NM champagne (check the label) using bought-in grapes or juice. Nevertheless, the marketing prowess is such that they can still charge a similar price to a RM producer for what is potentially a lower quality wine.
  • Champagne 6:  Classification and Price.  The importance of the local classification of grape growth cannot be understated. Not only does it reflect the quality of production for marketing purposes, it also controls The price that can be demanded for the grape juice when sold. Each producer has received a percentage score relative to its classification. This percentage determines the price it can charge relative to the annual declared price for Champagne grape (more on this next post). Classification is therefore very important to the producer and it is understandable why the recent reclassification of villages caused so much friction. The value of agricultural land in the area increased in value from €5,000 per hectare to nearly €1 million per hectare!  The value of the grapes grown in these newly classified regions also rose significantly.  PS the dogs are there because a picture of soil is not that interesting.
  • Champagne 5:  The local soil makeup generally determines the grape grown and the regions are classified into Cru or growth qualities that centre on local villages. There are now 17 (originally 12) Grand Cru, 43 Premier Cru and over 300 other villages in the Deuxième Cru classification.  A Grand Cru champagne must have 100% Grand Cru grapes, a Premier Cru 100% Premier Cru grapes and the Cru classification tends to drive price. Our Collard Picard Prestige only has 80% Premier Cru grapes so, whilst it is an excellent champagne for the price, it cannot be labelled Premier Cru.
  • Words do not do it justice. Canet Valette Maghani.
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