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2023 Champagne harvest underway with lower yield set

Published:  05 September, 2023

The 2023 harvest in Champagne commenced on Saturday, 2 September, and despite difficult weather during ripening, the region expects a “high-quality harvest”.

This is according to the Comité Champagne – the trade association that represents the interests of independent Champagne producers (vignerons) and Champagne Houses.

The Comité also confirmed a maximum yield set of 11,400 kg per ha, a reduction on last year’s 12,000 kg per ha, possibly to keep prices higher.

Maxime Toubart, president of the winegrowers and co-president of the Comité Champagne, said: “Fortunately, this climate has also favoured the exceptional weight of the bunches, more than 220 grams on average, which has never been seen before in Champagne. These numerous and generous bunches will make it possible to select only those in a perfect sanitary state.”

Furthermore, courtesy of favourable growing conditions, the bunches weigh, on average, 220g – a record for Champagne.

The fully manual harvest is expected to cover 34,000ha of Champagne vineyards, utilising up to 120,000 workers over the coming weeks. Whilst some sectors have just started harvesting, the majority of the vineyards will start in the coming days.

From the beginning of the year to the end of July, the vine season was particularly subdued, with very few bouts of frost, hail, mildew and powdery mildew. 

David Chatillon, president of the houses and co-president of the Comité Champagne, added: “The Champagne growers and houses will organise their picking circuits in order to harvest high-quality grapes.

“Thanks to the numerous grapes, even after sorting to retain only the best, all professionals should easily reach the available yield set at 11,400 kg per ha.”