Le comité Champagne

The Comité Champagne

A joint trade association acting in the interests of the Champagne designation

Joint trade association

A joint trade association acting in the interests of the Champagne designation

The Comité Champagne is the joint trade association for the Champagne industry. It was one of the first-ever regional joint trade associations to be established in France. Since 1941, it has defended the joint interests of Champagne’s Houses and Growers and contributed to the balance and outreach of the whole of the Champagne industry and its designation.

The Champagne joint trade association works as an engine of economic growth. It helps to establish an equal partnership between growers and Champagne Houses in which consensus is always sought. The Comité Champagne therefore advocates daily in favour of some 16,200 Growers, 130 Cooperatives and 370 Champagne Houses. It provides an equal footing for small-scale vinegrowers and large international companies to come together around the same table.

Conducting the industry as one 

Champagne Houses and Growers are guided by different economic rationales. And yet they share a common destiny. They know that the wealth of their terroir must be protected and defended.

This means that protection and promotion of their heritage, quality development and sustainable development, as well as Champagne’s global standing, are common goals shared by both sets of stakeholders. The Comité Champagne embodies this solidarity, this bridge and this convergence of interests between Champagne Houses and Growers.

Bouchons de Champagne

Champagne culture

The Comité Champagne, custodian of the Champagne Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) designation

The Champagne geographical area and the rules governing its production are strictly defined by very precise specifications. These define the Champagne designation (AOC), which is protected. Part of the Comité Champagne’s remit is to ensure compliance with these specifications. Find out more:

The Champagne designation

Balance

Guaranteeing the balance, stability and promotion of the Champagne industry

The Comité Champagne’s duties have changed over the years as it has successfully adapted to the necessities of the time. Initially focused on regulating the industry and defending the Champagne name, the Comité Champagne now oversees a three-pronged remit:

Striking the right economic balance 

The Comité Champagne’s main responsibility is to ensure the economic stability of the industry by helping to organise its production and improve its running. 
For that, it governs the contractual relations between Growers and Houses. Champagne makers deliberate together and make collective decisions to secure the future of their industry. The Comité Champagne also manages the Champagne reserve, which compensates for small vintages.

The reserve
Vignes et ciel bleu

Champagne culture

The Champagne reserve, unique to the region

Annual grape yields can vary considerably. Indeed, viticulture is not an exact science: production is subject to climatic vagaries and a number of factors that growers cannot control.

To compensate these variations, an unprecedented system was introduced in Champagne: the reserve. In good years,  wines are set aside to meet supply needs in years when yields are smaller. 

Sustainable development

Sustainable development and keeping the vineyards at the forefront of technical innovation 

Contributing to the excellence of Champagne wines and encouraging sustainable development also form part of the Comité Champagne’s duties. These days, climate change and changing expectations in society are ushering in major technical challenges for Champagne and its industry.

The joint trade association is therefore implementing various research programmes in viticulture and oenology: engineers and technicians are conducting over 200 experiments annually to constantly improve Champagne practices in an environmentally-friendly mindset. It also passes on this knowledge to the industry’s members through an array of educational tools.  

Protection and promotion of the designation

The Champagne designation is a strong symbol of recognition of our Champagne Houses’ and Growers’ expertise. It represents a common intangible heritage that we all share with pride and passion.

Guided by the devotion of the people behind the Champagne designation, the Comité Champagne is unwavering in its efforts to defend it and raise its profile in France and abroad, not least through its bureaus with bases all over the world. First and foremost this involves strengthening protection of the Champagne designation on the global stage by securing full recognition of it. 122 countries currently recognise the Champagne designation. The Comité Champagne also combats violations of this recognition and all forms of counterfeiting, imitation or misuse.

It develops knowledge of the Champagne markets and consumers by conducting surveys in various countries. The Champagne industry and its professionals can use the findings of these studies to implement promotional campaigns. The Comité Champagne is also proactive in providing training in the diversity of Champagne wines and their production process by organising tours and tastings for example or by developing a wide range of educational tools. 

Highlights