Climate change forces an early start to Champagne Harvest

Picking officially commenced in Champagne last Saturday with start dates spread between August 20 and September 6th, depending on the location of the vineyards in the 34,000-hectare region.

The timing of the harvesting is guided by the Réseau Matu, which is a network of hundreds of representative vineyard plots spread across the appellation.

The harvest has begun far earlier in the season than normal.  This is a result of the extreme heat seen across Europe this summer. August harvests used to be extremely rare, they are now becoming common due to climate change. This warming weather may start forcing changes to how the famous sparkling wine is produced.

These high temperatures and the worst drought on record have also caused massive wildfires and led to restrictions on water usage across France, but they also boosted grape maturity.

The pickers are paid on what they pick and are rushing around in temperatures well above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) as they have to pick the grapes before they become over-ripe and supercharged with sugar.

“I think we’re at the turning point,” said Charles Philipponnat, President of Philipponnat Champagne, “So far, global warming has helped: harvest in good weather conditions without rain, without too much cold, with ripeness and little rot.”

Producers across France are expecting this year’s harvest to yield a good quality vintage when it makes its way to market, a relief after frost and mildew fungus attacks in 2021, something dry and hot weather helped prevent this year.

“Following the remarkable rebound of Champagne shipments in 2021, including record shipments to the United States, Champagne is expecting an excellent yield in 2022,” said Jennifer Hall, director of the Champagne Bureau, USA.

Champagne shipments in the first half of 2022 were close to 130 million bottles globally, representing an increase of 13.8 percent compared to the same period in 2021.

#champagne #champagneregion #champagneharvest #champagneharvest2022 #harvest #Reims #champagnelover #champagnelife #epernay #champagnetourism #wine #winelovers #winenews #winetrends #climatechange

Mumm Millésimé 2015 – Virtual Tasting

Yesterday I participated in a virtual tasting with Cellar Master Laurent Fresnet of Maison Mumm to celebrate the release of Mumm Millésimé 2015. It was wonderful opportunity to see Laurent again and engage in the online conversation.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t participate in the tasting portion (at this time) my bottle was stuck at customs.

What I did learn – Mumm Millésimé 2015 is crafted exclusively from Pinot Noir grapes and were harvested from the best plots of the Montagne de Reims Grand Cru villages of Verzy, Ambonnay and Verzenay, and the Chardonnay grapes were harvested from plots in the Côte des Blancs Grand Cru villages of Cramant and Avize.

Mumm Millésimé 2015 blend

75% Pinot Noir

25% Chardonnay

[100% Grands Crus]

Mumm Millésimé 2015 underwent full malolactic fermentation which reveals supple, round character, delicate toasted aromas and notes of biscuit.

The dosage is 6 g/liter (brut).

This vintage was aged for five years in Maison Mumm’s cellars beneath the city of Reims.

Maison Mumm’s style reveals the essence of Pinot Noir – with its power and rich, elegant fruit, the black grape takes pride of place in the House’s classic blends, to which Chardonnay and Meunier grapes add their inimitable floral and fruity notes.

Tasting Notes:  watch this space for my tasting notes in the next few weeks.

#virtualtasting #winelover #wine #champagne #champagnelover #winetasting #Mumm #Mummexplores #MummChampagne #champagnetasting #champagnemoments #MummMillésimé2015

@GMMumm

2021 Champagne Shipments are back to pre-Covid Levels

Champagne shipments for 2021 are expected to reach 305 million bottles, a total that takes the market not only back up to pre-Covid levels, but beyond them, reports Reuters last week.

The forecast comes on the back of surging post-pandemic Champagne demand in markets such as the US, UK, and Australia.

If last week’s projection comes to be true this will take Champagne close to its 2017 levels, and this means 2021 could represent a four-year high for the region – see figures below.

Champagne shipments (bottles) 1999- 2021 with totals:

2021: estimated 305m

2020: 245.0m

2019: 297.5m

2018: 301.9m

2017: 307.3m

2016: 306.1m

2015: 313m

2014: 307m

2013: 305m

2012: 309m

2011: 323m

2010: 319m

2009: 293m

2008: 322.5

2007: 338.7

2006: 321.8

2005: 307.7m

2004: 301.4

2003: 293.5

2002: 287.7

2001: 262.7m

2000: 253.2m

1999: 327.0m

 

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Mumm 2021 Harvest – Part lll – “Only the Best”

Mumm 2021 Harvest – Part lll – “Only the Best”

The region’s harvest officially started September 6th this year.  The Comité Champagne announced that as much as 60% of the yield was lost due to poor weather conditions where the grapes succumbed to botrytis and mildew.

The grapes are picked around 100 days after the vines have flowered and when they are the ripest. As required by The Comité Champagne, picking is exclusively by hand, vineyard parcel by vineyard parcel, bunch by bunch. Maison Mumm employs around 1,000 grape pickers for this three-week period.

Prior to picking, MaisonMumm sends a Collard machine down the rows.  This will do some partial trimming to make it easier for the grape pickers. Once the grapes are picked, they are placed in yellow bins. Laurent Frenet [Chef de Cave of Maison Mumm] strategy is not to keep the grapes too long before pressing – once the bins are full, they are rushed off to the press houses. Mumm has seven traditional presses ‘Coquard presses’, near its vineyards.

The grapes are sorted at the vineyard level and as per Georges Hermann de Mumm’s maxim “Only the best” bunches are picked.

#harvest21 #vineyards #vineyardslifecycle #vinecycles #champagne #winemakers #champagnelovers #france #champagne #mumm#mummchampagne #maisonmumm #verzenay #ghmumm#winelover #winetourism #wineexperience #vigneron#VineyardVisit #Reims #ChampagneRegion #vinelife #madeinfrance

Mumm 2021 Harvest – Part ll – Regenerative Viticulture

We joined Bernard Pineau (Sustainable Viticulture Manager at Martell Mumm Perrier-Jouët) in the vineyards. Bernard took us to some of the north-facing slopes in Verzenay and Mailly.

Not only is it harvest time, but it’s also the end of a very difficult growing season. The Champagne region was hit with spring frosts, and heavy summer rains which has led to mildew fungus.

The Chef de Caves Laurent Frenet, who also joined us later, says ‘The best areas are the north and south of the Montagne de Reims, especially the black grapes.” and “…the best quality and quantity are coming from Verzenay, Verzy, Ambonnay and Bouzy this year..”

G.H Mumm currently owns 215 hectares of vineyards in some of the finest terroirs in Champagne which are rated 98% on the champagne quality scale. These micro-terroirs are located in Aÿ, Bouzy, Ambonnay, Verzy, Verzenay, Avize, Cramant and Mailly-Champagne. Mumm makes arrangements, each year, to purchase grapes from independent growers to meet their needs.

Bernard, who heads up the sustainable development objectives for 2030, explains that he has moved away from chemicals “weed control and systematic treatments are over…It’s now all about observation.” He has set up experimental programs in regenerative agriculture in some of their vineyards.

Bernard goes on to say, “we’re looking at the best that can be found among organic, biodynamic and agroforestry techniques.” He wants to reduce chemical inputs without “restricting to organic farming, which is too reliant on copper.”

Bernard goes on to explain that regenerative viticulture has shown to improve sub-surface microbial life, and root health and having a complex system of cover crops with grass and clover ensures that “weeds don’t get a foothold”. These plant covers are planted just after the harvest by direct drill. Bernard goes on to say “This reduces the carbon footprint and keeps carbon in the ground ..keeps the nutrients in the ground.”

“The ground is the motor, and you have to fuel it with (this) with energy”

Bernard and his team’s strategy:

  1. Fertilizing the ground with natural oils and other natural processes – no herbicides have been used for the past three years;
  2. Use AI [Bitobot – atomatic care of the grass]; and
  3. Adapting the ground to global warming.

Bernard Pineau (Sustainable Viticulture Manager at Martell Mumm Perrier-Jouët) clearly states: “Regenerative viticulture is the best model – we are convinced” “It is already working for potato and the cereal industry.”

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