Champagne harvest begins

The harvest has begun in Champagne and, after a wild year, yields look to be down.

Harvest begins in Champagne
Harvest begins in Champagne

The harvest, which began in Champagne this week, looks to be lower than in previous years. The vines of Champagne saw everything this year, from cold and rain, to drought and heat, with the previous record for sunshine hours broken in February. 
Spring frosts between early April and early May destroyed the vine buds across around 1,000 ha of vineyards, equivalent to three percent of the vineyard area. The heat and drought periods that began in June did not affect the vines.

The yield available for vinification this year was limited to 10,200 kg per hectare, which is slightly lower than in 2018 (10,800 kg per hectare). 

The grapes from vintage 2019 show high acidity, but balanced colour and sugar. In order to achieve the aromatic ripeness desired in Champagne the grapes require a minimum alcohol content of 10.5% by volume for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and 10.0% by volume for Meunier.

Champagne harvesting is done exclusively by hand to guarantee the integrity of the fruit for whole cluster pressing. The harvest needs around 120,000 workers.

Via press release


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