Champagne sales for 2002 are likely to show a rise of up to 8% on the previous year bringing to an end the celebrated French bubbly's "millenium hangover."

Industry estimates point to last year's volumes reaching 285 million bottles compared to 263 million bottles in 2001. This figure would be short of 1998 levels of 292 million bottles but nevertheless well above the annual long-term growth rate for Champagne shipments of around 2%.

Contrary to the 2001 vintage which was rescued by a buoyant French market, the cuvee 2002 owes much of its success to a significant increase in exports outside the EU, one example being the US.