It has been a warm spring and summer in northern France in 2020. It is rumoured that the harvest in Champagne will start as early as around August 20. Therefore, it is urgent to determine this year’s maximum allowed yield.
Every year, the houses and the grape growers together decide how many kilos of grapes you will be allowed to harvest, taking into account how much they think champagne overall will sell and the economic situation in the world. A decision should have been made on July 22, but for once, the houses and growers did not agree.
Usually, they are good at compromising in Champagne. But now the positions seem locked. Champagne sales have fallen sharply since the beginning of the corona crisis, and it is estimated that sales in 2020 will fall by around 100 million bottles. (A normal year around 300 million bottles are sold.)
The houses, who buy grapes, want as low a yield as possible. There is talk of 7,000 kilos per hectare or less. The grape growers, not least those who make their own champagne, want a more normal yield, perhaps 10,000 kilos. Everything indicates that the quality will be exceptional, so it must feel sad not to be allowed to pick your grapes if you know you can sell what you produce and know that the wine will be excellent.
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