How many Champagne labels are there?
24th August 2020
That’s quite a question and one that may very well bring up varied results, depending on how you take the question, and answers may very well surprise many.
When it comes to taking the question in its very full meaning, then there are countless numbers from the labels that are on sales via Champagne houses to any previous labels still around including those vintages that are stored away in the cellars of wineries and collectors / venues / stockists.
How many Champagne houses are there?
The latest figure that is shared is 2,124 houses that make their own Champagne.
How many Champagne growers are there?
If we look at this meaning how many grape growers are there from those owning many hundred hectares to those owning just a few rows/vines, then the total is approximately 19,000.
What is the size of the Champagne region?
If we look at the size in relation to vines then there is a whopping 32,000 hectares of vineyards in the classified Champagne region.
How many bottles of Champagne are produced every year?
The figure has increased over the years and currently lately this figure has been floating around the 300 million bottles annually.
So, we go back to the main question about labels:
“A Champagne label is quite literally the information / guide to what is in the precise bottle in question including relevant data such as winery name, alcohol level, style of wine, vintage and litre size of bottle. A Champagne house may have many labels in their portfolio to include a stock of vintage that have been disgorged which may also hold other label variations to consider.“
If we estimate that each Champagne house (2,124) has an average of 5 labels in their range for example a Brut, Brut Nature, Blanc de Bancs/Blanc de Noirs, Rosé, Vintage then we have 2,124 x 5 equalling: 10,620
Now many Champagne houses I have visited will have a lot more labels currently on their books thanks to special cuvées and vintages going back sometimes over 100 years which if they were to be present for sale, they would have their own special label or at least a label with the year stated thus a unique label to their portfolio. Let us say an average per Champagne House of 10 special cuvées / vintages that would possibly be at some point likely to hit the market, then we have 10,620 x 10 equalling: 106,200
So, from my calculations only from my experiences of visiting countless Champagne houses, tasting through their ranges and visiting their wine cellars, I see the answer to the question of how many Champagne labels are there being over 100,000. I also feel this is a conservative calculation and it could be likely that the final figure is much higher and especially if more vintages were brought on to the market for buyers / collectors to enjoy.
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.