Bad timing to expand Champagne, says world leading expert

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We recently wrote about the plans in Champagne to extend the limits of the appellation to allow for more production. Obviously a contentious issue. Tom Stevenson, a world leading expert on Champagne, asks the question “Is an expansion necessary?” His answer is perhaps both yes and no. There is an obvious shortage of Champagne at the moment but are we not rapidly approaching a new champagne bust? And in any case already today there are enough grapes grown for an expansion, but due to AOC regulations parts of the harvest are left to rot. (The permitted yield is almost 100 hl/ha today (already high compared to many) but the average actual yield, says Stevenson, was more like 146 hl/ha. The volume exceeding the permitted yield is left on the vines or dropped on the ground.) Read his whole essay on the future of Champagne on wine-pages.com.

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