Paging the Champagne Warrior.

It dawned on me recently, that you could walk into any wine store (with a couple of exceptions), and find Veuve Clicquot (Yellow Label). You could also find it in many grocery stores throughout the nation, in every Costco, and on numerous restaurant wine lists in America. So, what’s the production on Veuve Clicquot? Just curious.

Thank you!

800,000+ cases yearly, I think?

holy hell

Thanks, Scott!

That’s low. I’m reasonably certain DP is over 1M. maybe 800K is what is exported, but I thought yearly production was twice that.

I think it’s closer to 10 million cases.

edit: This is the domaines production. Supposedly annual production numbers are confidential.

That’s unreal. KJ’s I think 6 million cases, and that’s 10.99, seems like Clicquot is more of a ripe off than we knew! [snort.gif]

DP is not nearly 1milion cases per vintage. Maybe close to half that in abundant vintages and 25-30% in less than abundant ones.

I had heard that the production of DP was something around a million bottles rather than a million cases. That is still quite a lot.

At least with DP there are other “versions” with the Oenotheque, etc…

Yellow Label is meant for immediate consumption and there is no reason for VC to hold any back.

I think the 800k is an average, depending on the yearly yield, etc. In any case, I would imagine that middle to large cities see around 500-1000 cases (especially if they’re in local grocers, I know in our store alone there are significant numbers throughout the year, and we’re one of dozens in the Boston Metro area), and if there are 500-1000 cities that get that amount around the world…

Imagine, 50 states in the US, with maybe 5 cities per state getting 500 cases for the year, that’s 505500=125,000 minimum in the US alone (which accounts for 11.71% of world consumption

Now add Moet, DP, Krug, Hennessy, Newton, Chandon, Yquem, Mercier, Ruinart, etc. distribution to that.

LVMH doesn’t mess around.

Also, 10m cases @ ~$4-500/cs=$4-5b wholesale revenue. The revenue for the entire company is $20b, and 16% of that comes from wine and spirits. The math doesn’t quite add up if Veuve is only one brand in the wine and spirit portfolio.

I don’t know the exact current numbers as I don’t recall asking anytime in the last three years, but Clicquot produces around 12M bottles or 1M cases a year. The NV Yellow Label is going to be 80-85% of production so 800k cases a year is a good number.

As far as DP goes, Ray has this right. An easy way to look at things is to look at the land they have (via ownership and sourcing). In general, you can produce around 10,000 bottles per ha. DP has access to around 500 ha of top land that I would think of as DP quality. This means production would max out at 5M bottles a year or only slightly more than 400k cases. Remember this would be the max and you can’t always make the max.

Thank you Champagne Warrior!

Scott, love the projections!!

Thanks all!

They must have enormous blending tanks


When you have hundreds and hundreds of tanks, can separate by cru and parcel, and can program in a blend that takes this much from this tank and this much from that one and it isn’t really that hard. Essentially, one really huge master blend tank is fed by a number of very large (but still smaller) tanks. These tanks may then be fed by other tanks. It’s really just a giant tree formation where you take the same amount from each branch every time.

I recently had a (what I think is) my first DP. It was the 2002. I was actually prepared to not really like it but it was actually pretty special. Perhaps a bit overpriced as a young-drinker but it was very elegant and nuanced. I was impressed with the quality considering the volume of production. I guess its kind of like if every burgundy producer donated all their best vineyards to one bottler and all the wines were blended together. It would be very anonymous but honestly it would probablly still taste very good. Actually typing that feels so wrong because of the loss of distinctiveness seems almost criminal even as a thought excercise, but I guess Champagne is just like that.

Dom Perignon is the most awe-inspiring commercial enterprise in the wine world, IMO. Those who are serious about Champagne seem to agree it is very top quality stuff. And made in such enormous quantities. Just in this thread, we see projections of 5 million bottles per vintage, from 500 ha spread broadly over the region, and cropped at 75 hl/ha, wow.

Dom Perignon is the perfect example of a winemaker’s wine. All Champagne is about the winemaker more than the terroir. But DP is this more than any other, because of the enormous scale combined with the very high quality.

I think it is remarkable that many of those who love Dom Perignon (and other Champagnes) are connoisseurs of artisan-scale, terroir-driven wines for their non-Champagne wine choices.

well said Lewis. I’ve enjoyed Dom greatly and it boggles my mind how they keep the quality with such a huge production.

I’d be really intrigued to see the margins that they’re making on a per bottle basis compared to other producers at such a large scale.

Anyone know what the first growths in Bordeaux produce case-wise in an average vintage? Curious to see how it compares to the DP estimate of 400k cases in great years (say 300k in average years?)

I agree with all of this except that it applies mostly to the grand marques. The grower champagnes are more about the terroir. Or at least are moving aggressively in that direction. The wines produced are not universally better than the blended model (esp. in down years), but it is different