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Champagne harvest begins after 'chaotic' August weather

Published:  14 September, 2010

Growers in Champagne are being allowed a slightly higher harvest limit this year, following a 16% increase in shipments in the past seven months.

The Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) is allowing 10,500kg of grapes per hectare, slightly higher than the 2009 limit of 9,700kg.

Harvesting began in some areas on September 10 but most growers will wait until later in the month. Under CIVC rules all harvesting must take place by hand.

The 2010 vintage is slightly later than normal. After sunny weather in June and July, the CIVC said August had been "chaotic" but the damp conditions do not appear to be causing botrytis at this stage.

CIVC spokesman Daniel Lorson said 2010 had the makings of a "high quality" vintage.