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California Sparkling Wines Drive Premiumization Trend

May 16, 2022

While much of the recent attention within the sparkling wine market in the U.S. has been focused on European categories like Champagne, Prosecco, and Cava, domestic sparklers have also been making strides lately—and premiumization has been taking root as drinkers continue to reach for higher-end bottles. While Constellation’s Cook’s and Gallo’s Andre remain the two largest-selling domestic sparkling wine brands in the U.S. by volume, according to Impact Databank, market growth among American sparkling wines has been particularly concentrated among upscale methode champenoise brands.

Moët Hennessy’s Domaine Chandon remains the leader in the above-$15 domestic segment, and after a pandemic-related decline in 2020, the brand reached a new all-time high last year. Mumm Napa, owned by Pernod Ricard, had been closing the gap and has increased by 50% in volume terms the past five years. Another Pernod Ricard sparkler, Kenwood Yulupa, advanced 20% last year, according to Impact Databank. Fellow California sparkler Roederer Estate, part of the Maisons Marques & Domaines portfolio, also posted solid growth in 2021.

The upscale Schramsberg brand, handled by Wilson Daniels, has likewise been on the upswing, driven by its classic range of Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, and Brut Rosé. Like other California sparkling wines in different price segments, Schramsberg benefited from pantry loading early on in the pandemic, but it also registered strong performances in various markets across the country last year, in both the on- and off-premise. Gloria Ferrer, part of the Freixenet Mionetto USA range, has its heritage in the Carneros appellation, and also performed solidly in 2021.

Piper Sonoma, from Folio Fine Wine Partners, has made a renewed growth push lately, rising 15% last year. New Mexico-based Gruet—one of the few non-California wines among the leading domestic sparklers—has also continued its strong upward trajectory, after a 14% gain in 2021. Meanwhile, at a slightly lower price point, Brown-Forman’s Korbel posted growth of 7.6% last year to just over 1.6 million 9-liter cases, a new all-time high. Korbel remains the largest-selling California methode champenoise sparkler in the U.S., according to Impact Databank.—Juan Banaag

California Sparkling Wine—Top Five Brands Above $15 A 750-ml.
(thousands of 9-liter case depletions)
Rank Brand Company 2020 2021 Percent
Change1
1 Domaine Chandon Moet Hennessy USA 461 520 12.8%
2 Mumm Napa Pernod Ricard USA 375 410 9.2%
3 Roederer Estate Maisons Marques & Domaines 97 104 6.7%
4 Schramsberg Schramsberg Vineyards 83 98 18.1%
5 Gloria Ferrer Freixenet Mionetto USA 84 90 7.1%
Total Top Five2 1,100 1,221 11.0%
1 Based on unrounded data.
2 Addition of columns may not agree due to rounding.
Source: IMPACT DATABANK © 2022
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