Merger to create Champagne super group

Centre Vinicole - Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte (CV-CNF) and the Coopérative Régionale des Vins de Champagne (CRVC) have announced plans to merge their businesses, as they look to become a major operator in the Champagne region.

The new cooperative, which is called Terroirs et Vignerons de Champagne, will become effective on December 31. The group will bring together around 6,000 growers and 3,000ha, representing “nearly 9%” of the Champagne vineyard area.

With a potential production capacity of 24m bottles, the ambition of the new group is to reach €300m in turnover, as well as a 5% market share in terms of volumes, within five years.

CV-CNF president Véronique Blin said: “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. It is a response to the downward spiral in vineyard sales observed since the last crisis in Champagne in 2008 where the appellation saw the loss of 40m bottles on the French market."

CRVC president Emmanuel Comyn added that “this movement will make it possible to place additional value on the concepts of cooperation and sharing, two values that are more important than ever in today's world.

"By becoming one of the three major operators in Champagne, we now have the power to valorise the cooperative model in every single way," he said.

The CV-CNF and CRVC said such a deal has not been seen in Champagne for 25 years.

Terroirs et Vignerons de Champagne will be headed up by Christophe Juarez, who will assume the role of CEO from January 1, having previously been CEO of CV-CNF. The company’s brands include Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte and Champagne Castelnau.

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