Epernay, France (7th, September 2018)-Precocity, quality, volume: nearing its end in Champagne, the grape harvest is definitely out of the ordinary.
Beginning in the earliest sectors on 20th August, it is the fifth grape harvest started in August over the last fifteen years.
After an exceptionally wet winter, the Champagne region has since April been experiencing sunshine and temperatures well above the 10-year average. Thanks to these exceptional conditions the vines developed rapidly; flowering and then ripening benefited from ideal conditions and, when harvested, there were plenty of healthy bunches, very rich in sugar and aromas. Harvesting, necessarily by hand, took place unhurriedly under summery skies although the early morning temperatures were sometimes quite low (0°C in Reims on 26th August).
The available yield of 10,800 kg/ha will be achieved in all sectors. In addition, this magnificent harvest will allow wine-growers and houses to rebuild their reserve (wines put aside in good years), which will enable them to face the possible vagaries of the climate in the future.
The quality of the musts is an excellent omen for the future cuvées. We will have to wait for the first tastings in autumn and in spring to confirm these expectations of a great vintage.