Harvesting in the five departments of the AOC Champagne is expected to begin as early as the end of August 2017. This was announced by the "Bureau du Champagne". The start date is one month earlier than last year, making it one of the five earliest readings in the history of Champagne. The development of the vines this year is about ten days ahead of the ten-year average.
Under the umbrella of the Comité Champagne, the producers set the maximum permitted yield at 10,800 kilograms per hectare. This is the same quantity as last year. Winegrowers who do not reach the permitted yield of 10,300 kilograms per hectare due to failures - in 2016 it was 9,700 kilograms per hectare - may make up for their yield deficit with a maximum of 500 kilograms per hectare from the reserve of wines from previous harvests.
The decision is based on the harvest yield estimated by viticultural experts, which is currently between 10,000 and 11,000 kilograms per hectare. According to the "Bureau du Champagne", the vineyards in Champagne are "green and healthy", favoured by the high summer weather since mid-May. More than 100,000 seasonal workers harvest the grapes in Champagne by hand.
The maximum permitted yield of 10,800 kilograms per hectare allows the producers to respond to the growing demand. In the first half of 2017, sales worldwide rose by 2.9 percent. Exports also increased significantly: worldwide by more than 9 percent and outside the EU by as much as 17.9 percent.
(uka / Photo: Jean-Charles Gutner - Collection CIVC)