Champagne Prepares for the Upcoming Harvest
21st July 2023
As per each year, Champagne winegrowers and houses within the Comité Champagne, met in Epernay to agree on the conditions for this year’s upcoming harvest.
The available yield for 2023 has been set to 11 400 kg/ha.
So far, the vineyards are in a good and uniform sanitary state from one sector to another. The wine-growing season has been fairly calm, with little frost damage (1.5% of the vineyard) and hail damage (0.3%), mildew and powdery mildew are contained; only the recharge of soil water levels might be cause for concern. Grape clusters are in good shape, and the harvest, which currently looks promising, should begin in the first ten days of September.
The Champagne sector strengthens its resilience
Climate hazards, vine decline and the ageing of vineyards are all having an impact on Champagne yields, which have fallen by 26% in twelve years. Therefore, it was decided to take full advantage of the good years to further improve the industry’s resilience.
« Last year, Champagne introduced an innovative scheme the ‘deferred release of the reserve’ », points out Maxime Toubart, president of the winegrowers. « This year, the maximum level of reserve was raised to 10,000 kg/ha instead of 8,000 kg/ha. The INAO has agreed to look into this subject as a priority in order to allow winegrowers to plan their reserve for the upcoming harvest. »
The objective is to provide the means to achieve the available yield set by Comité Champagne each year, in order to ensure market balance.
Shipments are expected to reach around 314 million bottles in 2023
Champagne shipments in the first half of 2023 represented 125.8 million bottles, a decline of -4.7% compared to the same period in 2022. Exports, with 77.7 million bottles, fell by -3.7%; while France recorded a decline of -6.3% with 48.1 million bottles. These results are to be put into perspective in comparison with an extraordinary 2022 (at the period of time last year, sales were up almost 14%).
“To determine the available yield for the year, winegrowers and houses have agreed on shipping forecasts for the next four years that take into account, both our confidence in the appellation and a certain caution with regard to the global economic situation and the effects of inflation,” comments David Chatillon, president of the Champagne houses.
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