Champagne Taittinger moves to Mezzanine The Fine Wine Specialist

September 7, 2020
By Alana House

Mezzanine The Fine Wine Specialist will begin distributing Champagne Taittinger in Australia from October.

Mezzanine The Fine Wine Specialist, part of the Joval Wine Group, said it was excited to welcome one of the most prestigious Champagne Houses into its portfolio of domestic and international premium wine brands.

In a joint statement, Matt Turnbull, National Sales Manager and Bree Richmond, National Brand Manager, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Taittinger family and their elegant champagnes into the Mezzanine The Fine Wine Specialist portfolio. Like us, the Taittinger family have a focus on people, quality and culture, have ambition to grow their footprint in Australia and strive to create moments of enjoyment and pleasure. We will nurture Champagne Taittinger like it is our own, with love.”

Champagne Taittinger Managing Director Clovis Taittinger added: “Joining the Mezzanine family is an exciting opportunity for our brand. The company’s passionate, long term vision together with their experience will no doubt enable even more Australians to discover the wonderful Taittinger culture built on a rich history, timeless and very elegant wines, a very joyful and sparkling family and team.”

Vitalie Taittinger

The Champagne House’s Chardonnay dominant cuvees range from top class Brut Reserve NV, through to the iconic Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs, which is one of the most highly prized champagnes in the world. The cuvee, made solely from Chardonnay, harvests grapes from five Grand Cru villages in the Côte des Blancs region.

McWilliam’s Wines was the previous Australian distributor for the brand. McWilliam’s entered into voluntary administration in January and creditors of voted in favour of a rescue proposal led by Prcstnt Asset Management in July.

Mezzanine will begin distribution from Monday, October 5, 2020.

Champagne sales bounce back globally

Champagne sales globally went through the roof in July and August according to new statistics from Wine Business International.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the outlook was grim for champagne producers, but then sales suddenly skrocketed to way above levels in 2019, from 50 to 100% higher for the same period in the previous year.

In the UK, Champagne was the fastest-growing category in the week to August 1, up 38%, with other sparkling wine ahead by 28%.

Global consumers are also eating more sushi and in general seeking indulgences to forget the crisis according to Nielsen.

“GDP forecasts for the foreseeable future are grim, expectations for long-term high levels of unemployment persist, and consumer confidence levels have sailed off a cliff… but champagne sales are up! Oh, and in the US, all that champagne is apparently being used to wash down extra sushi,” said Scott McKenzie, global head of the Nielsen intelligence unit.

McKenzie sees this as a kind of indulgence, to make up for all the missed vacations, and reduced spending seen since the beginning of the crisis.

Across the UK, Europe and Russia, consumers are changing their spending habits.

“We actually sold more bottles in France in July 2020 than in July 2019,” explained Christian Holthausen, A.R Lenoble’s communication’s manager. “Sales of A.R Lenoble in Italy are up 58 per cent and our sales in Sweden are up 44 percent I expect this trend to continue.”

While consumers cut back on luxuries initially, there’s been a sea change.

McKenzie says “the shopping bags are beginning to come back to normal”, with consumer spend beginning to look like it was back in 2019.

And stay-at-home celebrations are front and centre.

“So, if summer vacations haven’t resulted in fancy drinks by the hotel pool, it appears the summer staycations were opportunities for a different kind of indulgence; one that is part of a larger change in the psyche of spending,” McKenzie said. “As consumers back out of some categories, they’re heading with confidence towards consumer goods as a means of fulfilling their emerging entertainment and experience gaps in smaller ways.”

Canti Prosecco

Calabria Family Wines takes over from Accolade as the Australian distributor of Italian prosecco brand Canti.

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