The State of Play of Champagne in Australia 2017

Developments at hand are changing the face of champagne in Australia.

Welcome to my fourth annual report on the state of the champagne market in Australia.

Every year I pour over all the champagne export statistics and unearth some unusual trends in Australia quite unlike any other champagne market. Until now, this report has been featured as an article on this site and in the tasting booklet for my annual Taste Champagne series. But this year it is deserving of a full document in itself, because for the first time in seven years the market has changed. Whether you are making champagne, importing it into Australia, selling it or just love drinking it, developments are at hand that are changing the face of champagne in Australia. All the signs suggest that this is just the beginning.

Australia is quite unlike any other champagne market on earth.

No country outside Europe drinks more champagne per person than Australia. The average Australian now drinks twice as much champagne as the average German, three times as much as the Italians, almost four times as much as the Japanese and close to five times as much as Americans. It’s remarkable that such a tremendous volume of champagne would ship all the way to one of the most distant markets on earth.

Australia’s love affair with champagne continues, popping more than seven million bottles in 2016, the second largest number in history. The growth of champagne in Australia in the past fifteen years has been phenomenal, mushrooming more than eight-fold since 2001. Over this same period, champagne sales globally have grown less than 17%. This means little Australia alone takes the credit for more than one-seventh of champagne’s global growth over the past fifteen years! In consumption per person, Australia is the only country outside Europe in the top seven champagne markets.

Champagne in Australia has entered a new phase.

Australia has been bubbling along on an incredible champagne wave for 15 years, fuelled almost exclusively by entry-level large house non-vintage cuvées. But all this is changing.

In 2016, Australia posted its first drop in champagne consumption since the aftermath of the global financial crisis in 2009. Australia has now entered a phase of champagne market consolidation. Years of flamboyant growth are over and the time has come for Australian consumers to explore the wonderful diversity that champagne has to offer.

If the sheer volume of champagne consumed makes Australia a unique market, a deeper look into the champagnes we’re choosing paints an even more surprising picture of a market quite unlike any other.

My report The State of Play of Champagne in Australia 2017 is a 21 page trawl through all the detail and the very latest statistics:

  • Champagne globally
  • Champagne Houses, Growers and Cooperatives
  • Champagne’s Top Ten Markets
  • A new era for Champagne in Australia
  • Remarkable consumption
  • The Grower Crisis
  • Diminishing values
  • Limited house diversity
  • Limited grower diversity
  • Limited cooperative diversity
  • Non-vintage obsession
  • Rosé Revolution? Not here. Yet.
  • Prestige decline
  • Vintage stagnation
  • Discover the glorious diversity of champagne in Australia.


The State of Play of Champagne in Australia 2017 is a free download. Please feel free to reproduce, forward and share it ad nauseam.



The State of Play of Champagne in Australia