Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Tough times in Champagne; grape yields reduced

Champagne, the traditional wine of celebration, has been particularly affected by global economic conditions linked to the Covid-19 crisis and is suffering a historic drop in its shipments.


During a meeting today in Epernay, the winegrowers and houses of Champagne agreed on a low yield of 8,000 kilos per hectare (equivalent to 230 million bottles) for the 2020 harvest.

The limit was taken considering the uncertainties weighing on the entire sector, said the regional wine council, the Comité Champagne.

It is one of the lowest limits in recent times, with yields set at 10,200kg/ha in 2019 and 10,800kg/ha in 2018.

It will allow vendors of grapes to maintain an acceptable income and the Champagne industry to meet the demands of their customers and preserve their cash flow, the Comité said in a statement.

The harvest commenced on August 17, which is two weeks ahead of the 10-year average and promises to be of good quality, but a relatively small quantity due to the drought.

It is compulsory that grapes are harvested by hand in Champagne and the harvest involves around 100,000 seasonal workers. The challenge is to organise the harvest under conditions adapted to the ongoing health crisis.


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