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.

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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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Some more photos of my visit to Moulin de Verzenay

Here are some more photos of my visit to Moulin de Verzenay and the surrounding views. 

Mumms 2021 Harvest – Part l – Moulin de Verzenay article can be found www.Liz-Palmer.com

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Mumm 2021 Harvest – Part l – Moulin de Verzenay and Coffee

I am thrilled to be a special guest this year to participate in the G.H. Mumm harvest along with British wine Journalists Jamie Goode and Giles Fallowfield.  Our initial meeting was at Moulin de Verzenay and accompanying us was three of the Martell Mumm Perrier-Jouet Paris team.

Moulin de Verzenay is perched on a hill above the village of Verzenay. It’s classified as a historic monument and is the last surviving example of a 19th Century mill that once stood on the windswept Mont Rizan. G.H. Mumm took over its conservation in 1972.

We were lucky (September 17th) was a beautiful sunny day with some low-lying clouds. While we sipped our coffee, we could see the harvest in full swing from our vantage point.

There was such an impressive panorama of the grand cru vineyards and from a short distance, we can see one of Mumm’s first pressing houses. 

The Sustainable Viticulture Manager of Martell Mumm Perrier-Jouët, Bernard Pineau, also joined us and explained some of the experiments that he and his team are conducting with regenerative agriculture.

Bernard says: “Regenerative farming involves agroecology, agroforestry, permaculture…, and “we have moved away from chemicals. Weed control and systematic treatments are over. It’s now all about observation

Continues …Part ll….Into the Vineyards with Bernard Pineau, the head of sustainable winegrowing at Martell Mumm Perrier-Jouët

 

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La Champagne commence sa vendange !⠀