Summary of our market study

The global wine market, valued at US$326.6 billion in 2020, experienced a 10% decline from its 2019 valuation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this setback, the market is expected to recover and reach an estimated value of US$444.93 billion by 2027. In France, the wine market in 2020 is estimated at 29.689 billion euros, which reflects a similar decline of 10%, largely attributable to the pandemic. French wine exports have also been impacted, with a decrease in exports by 8% in 2020, although the United States' imposition of a 25% surtax on French wines, has been suspended for the next 5 years as of June 2021. French wine production also experienced fluctuations due to weather conditions and external challenges, with a decrease of 14.1% followed by a 10.8% increase in 2020. Despite these dynamics, wine continues to be an integral part of the French culture and identity, holding a strong position on the international stage.

Evolving Preferences and Challenges in the French Wine Market

The French wine market holds a prominent position both internationally and domestically, deeply rooted in the nation's culture and traditions. Despite this esteemed status, the market has witnessed a significant transformation in consumption patterns over the years, with a shift from routine consumption to more cultural and sporadic use. Notably, the market has faced a structural decline, a trend that is indicative of broader lifestyle changes and reflects the evolution from a daily dietary staple to a product savored on special occasions. One of the main concerns within this market is the negative impact of external events such as Brexit, the surtax imposed by the United States, and not least, the global coronavirus crisis. These have posed considerable threats to the wine industry, alongside the internal challenge of a steady decrease in domestic wine consumption in France. French consumers are drinking wine less frequently than they did in past decades, with current levels showing an average of one glass of wine per day compared to 3.5 glasses back in 1960.

The annual per capita wine consumption has plummeted from around 128 liters in the 1960s to between 35 and 40 liters. Interestingly, although the market is seeing a downward trend in volume, it does not necessarily indicate a decline in interest or value. Consumers now favor quality over quantity, opting for premium selections which is evidenced by the rise in the producer price index for wine, climbing from approximately 75 to over 100. This heightened interest in quality is also reflected in the popularity of organic wines, which have carved out a sizeable niche in the market, expanding at a notable pace and gaining a significant market share in both volume and value. Major buyers in the market tend to be predominantly male, between 50 and 65 years old, and residing in large urban areas. In contrast, regular consumers are more often women, aged between 35 and 50 years old, belonging to modest income groups and living in smaller communities. Geographically, the production of French wine is quite extensive, with regions like Occitania and New Aquitaine being significant contributors to the overall volume. The sparkling wine segment, especially Champagne, holds a valuable place, accounting for a substantial portion of sales in retail markets. The distribution of wine in France is primarily through supermarkets, which account for over half of sales; this is followed by direct sales at wineries, specialized stores, and a gradually increasing share from e-commerce platforms.

Prominent Figures in the French Wine Landscape

The French wine market features various key players that are cornerstone institutions within the industry. These institutions range from wine producers, regulatory bodies, trade associations, to distribution channels. Below, we'll delve into some of the primary organizations that help shape the contours of the French wine scene.

  • International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV): The International Organisation of Vine and Wine sets the definition for wine and lays down the standards that govern its production. As an intergovernmental organization, the OIV plays a significant role in creating an international benchmark and ensuring the recognition of wine as a product intimately tied to culture and tradition.
  • Comité National des Interprofessions des vins (CNIV): The CNIV plays a vital role in providing market data, which is pivotal for understanding the dynamics and economics of the French wine market. It acts as a collective platform for various wine professions, fostering dialogue and coordination among market actors.
  • Ministry of Economy and Ministry of Agriculture: These government entities are responsible for the oversight and development of policies pertinent to the wine industry in France. They ensure the sector's regulations are up-to-date and in line with both national interests and international standards.
  • INSEE (National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies): INSEE provides crucial data and indices such as the producer price index for wine, which is integral for understanding market trends and pricing trajectories in the wine industry.
  • Vignoblexport and La Revue du vin de France: These platforms offer insights and analysis relating to exports, market structure, and the performance of the French wine industry, thus informing stakeholders about the current state of the market. Champagne Houses: Renowned for their sparkling wines, Champagne Houses are iconic symbols of France's wine excellence. They encapsulate high-end production and play a substantial role in maintaining France's prestigious international reputation in wine.
  • France Agrimer: This public institution supports wine producers and promotes the French wine market. It provides market intelligence and helps in coordinating various initiatives aimed at enhancing the quality of French wines domestically and internationally.
  • INAO (National Institute of Origin and Quality): INAO is tasked with regulating agricultural products with protected designations of origin (PDOs) and protected geographical indications (PGIs). It guarantees the authenticity of these appellation products and their adherence to defined standards.
  • Vitisphère, Agreste, Agencebio, Les Grappes, and Le Français.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of the study

Wine is the alcoholic drink resulting from the fermentation of grapes. Since 1973, the International Organisation of Vine and Wine specifies that "wine is exclusively the beverage resulting from the complete or partial alcoholic fermentation of fresh grapes, whether crushed or not, or of grape must". It is also stated that its alcoholic strength may not be less than 8.5% by volume.

Therefore, spirits and any drink obtained from the fermentation of fruits other than grapes are excluded from this study.

There are several types of wine, distinguished in particular by color (red, white, rosé), texture (still, sparkling, naturally sweet) and grape variety (type of vine). These distinctions allow us to identify several segments of the wine market, each of which is the subject of a separate study. Studies on the red wine market, the white wine market, the sparkling wine market and the organic wine market are available.

In addition, French wines are divided into two categories: wines without geographical indication (VSIG) which correspond to the former table wines and wines with geographical indication (GI). The production of wines with GI is strictly regulated and is itself divided into two groups: wines with protected designation of origin (PDO) and wines with protected geographical indication (PGI). [Ministry of Economy]

The French wine market is renowned for the breadth of its range but also for the quality of its wines. French wine has a privileged status on the international scene as well as within the national territory. Indeed, the French associate it with values of tradition and conviviality and give it a significant place in French culture. However, the wine market in France is characterized by a structural decline in consumption. This decline is symptomatic of a transformation in lifestyles and consumption patterns and the shift from daily consumption and a "wine-food" function to a more cultural and occasional product.

In addition, the wine market is facing several external challenges and hazards, in particular the Brexit, the US surtax on wine or the coronavirus crisis, which are all events that threaten the industry. Production is also dependent on weather conditions, which explains, for example, the 14.1% drop in production in 2019. However, this decline is not representative of a structural trend, as evidenced by the production increase in 2020 of 10.8%. [Agreste]

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Size of the global wine market
  • Size of the French wine market
  • Wine exports
  • Main destinations for French wine exports (in value)
  • Wine imports
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Latest news

Alexis Leven-Mentzelopoulos, heir to Château Margaux - 13/11/2023
  • Château Margaux is a family estate among the first great growths of the 1855 classification.
  • Alexis Leven-Mentzelopoulos succeeds his mother Corinne Mentzelopoulos, who was at the helm of the estate for 43 years.
  • Alexis' father André Mentzelopoulos, owner of the Félix Potin retail chain, bought Château Margaux from the Ginestet family of Bordeaux.
  • Bordeaux grands crus are considered luxury goods.
Laboratoires Dubernet: Terra Mea invents a method for analyzing the microbiota of agricultural soils - 04/09/2023
  • Terra Mea is a young company created by the Laboratoires Dubernet group, specialized in oenology.
  • Terra Mea has developed a technology for counting cells in the soil
  • Terra Mea is able to assess carbon sequestration in the soil, an important indicator of soil health.
  • In the Languedoc region, alcoholic degrees have risen from 12.5 to 14.5 in 20 years.
  • Terra Mea has a national soil mapping project involving the measurement of 20,000 points throughout France.
  • Terra Mea expects sales of 1.5 million euros this year, with a target of 5 million by 2024.
  • Terra Mea currently employs six agricultural engineers, and plans to expand its team to around twenty next year.
  • The Laboratoires Dubernet group employs 75 people and has sales of 6 million euros.
Grands Chais de France in Alsace: Riesling in the background - 21/06/2023
  • Grands Chais de France (GCF) group founded: 1979 in Alsace, France
  • Main brand: J.P. Chenet
  • France's leading exporter of wines and spirits
  • Sales: 1.1 billion euros in 2019
  • Brands: J.P. Chenet, Grand Sud, Calvet, Jelzin vodka
  • France's leading private winemaker with over 3,000 hectares of vineyards
  • Nearly 80% of sales generated abroad, in over 173 countries
  • Workforce: 3,000 employees
  • Annual quantity of wine produced: 1.5 million hectolitres, either in-house or under contract to French winemakers
The Joseph Drouhin empire. - 06/06/2023
  • Company name: Maison Joseph Drouhin
  • Location: Beaune (Côte-d'Or) and Chablis (Yonne)
  • New purchases: Vineyards in Saint-Véran (Château de Chasselas) and Saint-Romain en Bourgogne (domaine Rapet)
Joseph Drouhin buys two estates in Burgundy. - 01/06/2023
  • Joseph Drouhin acquires two estates in Burgundy: Château de Chasselas in Saint-Véran, Saône-et-Loire and Domaine Rapet in Saint-Romain, Côte-d'Or.
Wine: for its 30th anniversary, Le Hameau Duboeuf creates an immersive show - 22/05/2023
  • Hameau Duboeuf celebrates its 30th anniversary.
  • Maison Georges Duboeuf is the wine producer associated with the theme park.
  • The theme park boasts 3,000 collector's items from the region's wine-growing heritage.
  • The exhibition area covers 30,000 square meters.
  • Annual visitor numbers are 80,000.
  • For the past three years, Hameau Duboeuf has been investing in immersive attractions (explore games).
  • 70% of visitors are French.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Vins Etonnants
Castel Groupe
Witradis Caravin
Domaines Paul Mas
Cogevi (Coopérative Générale des Vignerons de la Champagne)
Inter Caves
Les Grands Chais de France
Le Hameau Duboeuf
Bernard Magrez
Maison Joseph Drouhin

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