A large-scale merger unprecedented for 25 years in Champagne has emerged with the goal to hit a €300 million sales record in five years as a top-ranking operator in the appellation.
The new cooperative group Terroirs et Vignerons de Champagne is a merger between the Centre Vinicole – Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte (CV-CNF) and the Coopérative Régionale des Vins de Champagne (C.R.V.C.). They will collectively cover around 6,000 wine growers as well as 3,000 hectares and nearly 9% of the Champagne vineyard area.
With a potential annual production capacity of 24 million bottles, the group targets to reach the level of €300 million in turnover and a 5% market share in terms of volume within 5 years.
Founded in 1972, the CV-CNF is the most historical union of Champagne producers representing more than 5,000 vineyards. The C.R.V.C. was founded in 1963 with 750 wine growers and 23 member cooperatives.
The merger was approved by each of their respective Extraordinary General Assemblies on December 15 and will become effective on December 31, 2021. Christophe Juarez has been appointed CEO of the new group and will commence his new role on January 1, 2022.
Juarez joined the CV-CNF in 2017 as CEO and is now the Commander of Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne. Commenting on the merger, he reportedly said the new entity would be better placed to react to market needs and adapt to climate change.
The group’s Presidents Véronique Blin (CV-CNF) and Emmanuel Comyn (C.R.V.C.) began to work on the project two years ago.
According to Véronique Blin, the merger is a response to the declining Champagne sales after the global financial crisis of 2008, when domestic sales dropped by 40 million bottles, “The creation of this new group is a reflection of the continued consolidation of more and more players in Champagne as well as the need for a restructuring of the cooperative model,”
Echoing Blin’s comment, Emmanuel Comyn viewed the new cooperative as “an incredible opportunity” to enshrine the concepts of cooperation and sharing in the industry, “By becoming one of the three major operators in Champagne, we now have the power to valorise the cooperative model in every single way,”
The new cooperative currently owns a volume of 20 million bottles, of which 14.3 million are the group’s own brands. On top of that, it has a turnover of €287 million, inventory of €416 million and debts of €179 million.