It’s a record-breaker for champagne harvest.
This year’s champagne harvest began on September 2, and producers are reporting record size bunches of grapes.
The average is 160g but this year is seeing bunches of up to 230g – the biggest since records began in 1956.
And despite difficult weather during ripening, the Le Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne is predicting a high-quality harvest.
The harvest, which is carried out entirely by hand, will cover 34,000 hectares of champagne vineyards, and involves 100,000 to 120,000 workers. From the beginning of the year to the end of July, the growing season was particularly gentle, with very few bouts of frost, hail, mildew and powdery mildew. The only cause for concern was the amount of water in the soil after a particularly dry winter.
Maxime Toubart, president of the winegrowers and co-president of the Comité Champagne, said: “Fortunately, this climate has also favoured the exceptional weight of the bunches, more than 220 grams on average, which has never been seen before in Champagne. These numerous and generous bunches will make it possible to select only those in perfect sanitary state”.
“The champagne growers and houses will organise their picking circuits in order to harvest high-quality grapes,” explained David Chatillon, co-president of the Comité Champagne, who added that “thanks to the numerous grapes, even after sorting to retain only the best, all professionals should easily reach the available yield set at 11,400 kg/ha.”
The Comité Champagne is the trade association that represents the interests of independent champagne producers (vignerons) and champagne houses. Its role is to promote the vines and wines of Champagne across the world.