The 2011 Champagne harvest has begun and with a combination of early flowering, low rain levels in the spring and plenty of summer sun make it one of the earliest picking seasons since 1822, the Champagne Bureau said Friday.
Three grape varieties, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, are being harvested across the French region and weather forecasts are favorable for the next few days.
“As we celebrate another successful harvest from this unique region, we are reminded of the importance that location plays in every bottle of wine and renew our call on the United States to join the majority of the rest of the world in reserving the term Champagne only for wines made with grapes from this specific place,” said Sam Heitner, U.S. director of the Champagne Bureau.
“This year, the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC), the region’s trade body, has raised the amount of grapes that can be harvested in a given area to 12,500 kilograms per hectare (kg/ha),” says Heitner. “They believe that this will keep Champagne on track to meet the growing demand. This is good news for Champagne enthusiasts everywhere, as more people will be able to enjoy real Champagne, which can only come from Champagne, France.”
Wine and Travel Writer