Champagne Harvest 2017: First Impressions

The Comité Champagne (CIVC) has published its preliminary comments for the 2017 harvest that terminated in September, indicating satisfactory total acidity and an average alcohol potential exceeding 10% by volume, suggesting a very promising balance.

The CIVC reminds in its press release that 2017 has been marked by severe frosts in spring (wiping out 23% of buds across the region) followed by an exceptionally hot and sunny spell between mid-May and the end of July.

New heat records were set in many sites. Until the end of July, the vines remained in remarkable condition despite the lack of rainfall.

New heat records were set in many sites. Until the end of July, the vines remained in remarkable condition despite the lack of rainfall.

However, this situation was reversed in early August with a number of storms, some including hail.

With the maturation rate maintaining its momentum, the earliest vineyards began picking their first grapes on 26th August, making the 2017 harvest one of the earliest since 1950, preceded only by 2003, 2007 and 2011.

Frequent rainstorms since the start of harvesting, just when the grapes were fully ripe, have led to outbreaks of botrytis, forcing the winegrowers to sort the grapes very carefully.

Although the maximum authorized yield set for this year is 10,300 kg/ha, this will probably not be achieved in every part of the Champagne region because of the frost and hail damage and the consequent selection process.

For this reason, winegrowers and houses are expected to draw on their reserves to supplement their production.

However, the CIVC stresses that the quality of the vintage can only be evaluated after the first tastings of the base wines.

Champagne harvest 2017

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