Champagne and wine prices to spike amid expected shortage

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Champagne and wine prices are set to rocket by as much as 20 per cent this year, stated reports on Monday (24) amid shortages of popular wines including burgundy and sauvignon blanc.

The French agriculture ministry has warned that 2021 was the worst harvest for 45 years after vineyards were hit by frost and disease. Harsh weather has reportedly battered vineyards in Spain, Italy and France last spring.

The French agriculture ministry warned that 2021 was the worst harvest for 45 years after vineyards were hit by frost and disease.

Tom Ashworth, chief executive at wine distributor Yapp Brothers, has also warned that the price rise will be steep “as much as 20 per cent”

“It’s quite significant given that inflationary pressures in everyday life are mounting,” Ashworth said.

Yapp Brothers currently sells cases of burgundy ranging from £200 to £1,300, so a 20 per cent rise could mean an increase of between £40 and £260 respectively.

The International Organisation of Vine and Wine also warned that global wine levels were “extremely low”.

It said the only large EU wine producing countries that recorded harvests bigger than 2020 were Germany, Portugal, Romania and Hungary.

David Porter, a wine trader at Lea and Sandeman, added, “The harvest was catastrophic. Pinot Noir, Burgundy, Chardonnay and champagne are all down. Add in the shortages of bottles, corks and cardboard boxes and the pressure really is on the industry.”

Andrew Hawes, managing director at Mentzendorff, the UK’s major importer of Bollinger champagne, said, “People have wanted to drink more during the pandemic, but the supply isn’t available.

“Throw in the supply chain issues and Brexit and it’s a classic squeeze,” Hawes said.

The report comes amid fears that Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s new tax regime to ‘simplify’ the alcohol duty system will make bottles of wines more expensive.

The change will cut 15 bands of taxation for beer, cider wine and spirits to just six, but not everyone is happy with the change.

Research by Wine Drinkers UK (WDUK) found 95 percent of the most popular wines will suffer a hike in prices as a result of the change, affecting drinks with an ABV above 11.5 per cent.