Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Climate change hits Champagne harvest

Published:  27 September, 2019

Global warming cost Champagne over 10% of its potential harvest this year, the Champagne Bureau has revealed.

The principal damage was caused by a heatwave in June and July which saw temperatures in the region hit 42.9º, its highest recorded level, scalding the crops.

The average temperature in Champagne has risen 1.1º over the last 30 years.

Earlier in the year, spring frosts – another growing problem caused by the changing climate – also destroyed a proportion of grape buds.

Despite these challenges, however, the region’s winegrowers expect volumes to exceed 10,000 kg/ha on average, which will be sufficient to meet market demand.

The harvest, which is now typically 18 days earlier than it was 30 years ago, began early in September.

It is reported that the musts offer a good balance of sugar and acidity, together with an aromatic concentration that bodes well for future cuvées.

The combination of hot, sunny days and cool nights in August and September were a significant factor in maturing the grapes to peak ripeness.

Champagne has been developing sustainable-practice policies for over a decade. It is committed to zero use of herbicides by 2025 and having all production environmentally certified by 2030.

Other avenues being explored by the Comité Champagne to mitigate the effects of climate change include the development of more resistant grape varieties.