The Oenophiliac

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Champagne sets dates for ‘extremely early’ harvest

The 2011 Champagne harvest will be one of the earliest on record, with picking allowed to start as early as 19 August.

Champagne 2011 harvest

Photo: CIVC Epernay

The region’s trade body, the Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne (CIVC) has permitted the earliest ripening areas to pick from 19 August including the villages of Cumieres, Sacy and Damery in the Marne Valley, and Buxeuil, Neuville-sur-Seine, and Polisot in the Aube.

Thibaut le Mailloux, communications director at the CIVC, told ‘2011 is going to be an extremely early harvest in the region of Champagne, missing the absolute record of 2003 by one day only.

‘The 2011 harvest is indeed starting on August 19 in several crus of the French departments of L’Aube and La Marne, for Pinot Noir and Meunier – and as soon as on the 20 for Chardonnay. 90%¨of the vineyards will basically have started to harvest by August 25.’

The only other harvest that commenced this early occurred 189 years ago, in 1822.

All but two crus are allowed to harvest their grapes before September with the two late starters – Baye and Germaine in the Marne – required to wait until 1 September to harvest their crop.

The early ripening Pinot Meunier is the first variety to be picked, followed by Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Story by Rebecca Gibb

Courtesy of Decanter

2 comments on “Champagne sets dates for ‘extremely early’ harvest

  1. Julia
    August 22, 2011

    Love to read more on how this is expected to affect the vintage and non-vintage supplies going forward.


    • Magics Wine Guide and Reviews for Newbies.
      August 22, 2011

      I more intrigued to see how it will affect what happens here in the south of England.
      An early vintage has been touted around most of Europe for the last couple of months but the UK producers have kept quiet. So will have to wait and see.


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This entry was posted on August 22, 2011 by in News..

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