In 2022, Champagne sales soared to a record $6.5 billion. Still, between the post-pandemic travel boom and all those long-delayed celebrations, it’s no wonder bubbles were in high demand. Houses and growers throughout the French wine region are now producing upwards of 300 million bottles each year—and more than ever, it turns out, have been doing so with an increasing focus on sustainability.

Over the past few decades, climate change—both in the form of rising temperatures and extreme weather—has drastically impacted harvests in the region. Some major houses have even invested in vineyards in Kent, England, where the temperature mimics that of the French region decades ago, and the chalk soil is similar. But as any wine-lover knows, true Champagne is only made in one locale. Thanks to the wine region’s protected designation of origin, any sparkling wine made outside the region can’t be sold under this hallowed name. (See: Italy’s prosecco, Spain’s cava, or England’s sparkling wine.) 

Steeped in history, the Champagne region’s some 16,000 growers and more than 300 houses—as well as the entwined hospitality industry encompassing hotels, inns, and restaurants—are prioritizing sustainability to ensure the longevity of the UNESCO World Heritage site. Among those at the forefront is Relais & Châteaux, which counts several hotels and restaurants in the region.

RunwayThe Best Backstage Photos From the Fall 2023 Couture Shows in Paris

In 2012, Bollinger was the first wine house in France to be certified HVE, and has banned herbicide use throughout its vineyards since 2016. Besides its focus on healthy soil, the house also implements water conservation practices, like collecting rainwater for vineyard irrigation. On the company’s roadmap: shaving down the weight of its glass bottles by 7 percent. Champagne’s notably thicker bottles are necessary to account for the pressure created by carbon dioxide, a byproduct of fermentation, but using a lighter bottle will help reduce the shipping-related greenhouse gas emissions. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *