The Champagne Harvest begins on August 21. The region has had a year of extreme weather. Growers and houses saw record winter rainfall, with 345mm from November 2017 to January 2018. This beats the previous high of 338mm which was set in 1965, according to the Comité. A prolonged, cold winter has given way to good weather with flowering early June along with above average temperatures and sunshine hours.
Optimism around the 2018 vintage is high, said the Comité, which has set yields as 10,800kg per hectare.
Yields are set with one eye on the market. There is an assumption that global Champagne sales in 2018 will not grow significantly versus 2017 in volume terms, albeit exports were expected to lead any increase.
In the last 15 years, 2018 will be the fifth vintage. Global warming is also a local reality that Champagne growers and houses have taken into account.
Expecting stable sales in 2018 and a slight growth over the next few years (especially in the export markets, which now account for more than 50% of the total shipments), Champagne growers and houses agreed today to set the available yield at 10,800 kg/ha, the same level as in 2017. This volume fills the needs of the Champagne producers and maintains a balanced overall stock level.
This harvest is expected to be generous in volume and of good quality. It should also make it possible to reconstitute the Champagne reserve, widely used in the last two years.