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Uncorking the Champagne Market

Champagne accounts for around 10% of the worldwide sparkling wine production and has a strong brand that has been historically associated with nobility and royalty. Facing intense competition from other beverage manufacturers, the Champagne and wine industry is expending significant effort to maintain its position as the premium alcoholic beverage with a combination of impeccable production methodologies and robust branding.

Today, more and more of the production is being managed by electronical equipment and this trend will increase going forward. This enables Champagne and wine producers to improve quality, quantity and more easily maintain consistency. However, electrical equipment is often very sensitive to power outages. A power-cut lasting just ten milliseconds can result in approximately three hours of downtime for a champagne or wine producer and cost tens of thousands of Euros in lost revenue. To mitigate this danger, Champagne and wine producers are seeking not only short-term auxiliary power using batteries but also a longer-term solution for sustained power outages.

As the host of the Paris agreement on climate change and with an environmental activist as its Ecology minister, France is positioning itself as one of the world’s leaders on mitigating the effects of greenhouse gases. This strategic focus is shared by the Champagne and wine industry.

GenCell’s fuel cell backup power solutions deliver a stable flow of 5 kW electricity—with peaks of 30 kW—to ensure uninterrupted wine production, from the harvest receiving hopper to the bottle. Fueled by hydrogen, the clean energy of the future, GenCell power solutions can be easily installed in cellars as they produce energy with no emissions, noise or vibrations.

Over the course of four days, leading Champagne and wine producers visited the both the GenCell booth and its display at VITeff’s “Pavilion of the Future” which was dedicated to new technologies for the industry.

In addition, GenCell held a well-attended press conference with Gallorema, the GenCell distributor for the northeast of France. Eric Coehlo, the Technical Director of Billecart-Salmon, a leading Champagne house, shared how the GenCell G5 long-duration UPS provides backup power to ensure continuous, high-quality Champagne production.

When thinking of niche markets that need reliable, green and uninterrupted backup power, the Champagne and wine market may not immediately come to mind. But after attending VITeff, the sparkling wine technology exhibition, it was abundantly clear that there is immense potential in this market for GenCell’s cutting-edge power technology.

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