Worst Champagne Harvest in 30 Years

24th August 2016


It’s being called the worst harvest in the Aube in 30 years. The vines either have no grapes or a bunch every metre where there would normally be 10.

Nathalie Falmet at Rouvre-les-Vignes has decided not to harvest this year. She has 3.5 ha of vines and with an expected yield of around 1,000 kg it isn’t worth it. Neither Nathalie or her parents who started in 1970 have ever seen anything like this.

Seasonal jobs have of course been affected. There will be 25% less grape pickers.

The pressing centres require 1,000 kg of grapes a day to be viable. The drastic loss in yields means that some will remain closed and Champagne makers will regroup.

The Union Auboise will only use half of their vats and the rest will remain empty. They are lucky to have reserves from previous harvests to make up for this loss.

The disturbing question remains is 2016 a sign of future extreme weather disasters in years to come.


Jon Catt

Tour guide for the Champagne region who lives in Troyes. Specialising in family run Champagne house visits in the Aube and the Marne plus wine tours in the Yonne and Côte d'Or.