Champagne: harvest news
Report from Comité Champagne
25 July 2018
Expecting stable sales in 2018 and a slight growth over the next few years (especially in the export markets, which now account for more than 50% of the total shipments), Champagne growers and houses agreed today to set the available yield at 10,800 kg/ha, the same level as in 2017. This volume fills the needs of the Champagne producers and maintains a balanced overall stock level.
This harvest is expected to be generous in volume and, to date, of good quality. It should also make it possible to reconstitute the Champagne reserve, widely used in the last two years.
An exceptional wine-growing year, with the harvest beginning in August.
First an unusually wet winter, with a cumulative 345 mm for the period November 2017-January 2018, which is a new record, just ahead of the 338 mm of 1965.
From April to June, cumulative insolation of 750 hours (against 630 hours on average) and temperatures above the 10-year average lead to a rapid development of vegetation, so fast that the work in the vines had a hard time to keep pace. Flowering early in June and a constant nice weather in July incur an early harvest, which should begin in the last 10 days of August. In the last 15 years, 2018 will be the fifth vintage beginning in August. Global warming is also a local reality that Champagne growers and houses have taken into account, to adapt to the situation and to reduce their carbon footprint.
A new qualitative measure
In order to optimize the evaluation of grape quality and better understand the consequences of earlier harvesting, a “delivery note” will be tested from the 2018 harvest to follow up more precisely the quality of each batch.