Epernay - The 2023 harvest in Champagne commenced on Saturday, 2 September, and despite difficult weather during ripening, the region expects a high-quality harvest.
The fully manual harvest will cover 34,000 hectares of Champagne vineyards, needing 100,000-120,000 workers over the coming weeks. Whilst some sectors have just started harvesting, the majority of the vineyards will start in the next few days.
From the beginning of the year to the end of July, the vine season was particularly serene, with very few bouts of frost, hail, mildew and powdery mildew. Only the water in the soil, after a particularly dry winter, could have seemed alarming.
Maxime Toubart, president of the winegrowers and co-president of the Comité Champagne, explains: “Fortunately, this climate has also favoured the exceptional weight of the bunches, more than 220 grams on average, which has never been seen before in Champagne. These numerous and generous bunches will make it possible to select only those in perfect sanitary state".
“The Champagne growers and houses will organise their picking circuits in order to harvest high-quality grapes," confirms David Chatillon, president of the houses and co-president of the Comité Champagne, who adds that "thanks to the numerous grapes, even after sorting to retain only the best, all professionals should easily reach the available yield set at 11,400 kg/ha".
The Comité Champagne is the trade association that represents the interests of independent Champagne producers (vignerons) and Champagne Houses. Its mandate is to promote the vines and wines of Champagne through a broad remit that includes economic, technical and environmental development; continuous quality improvement; sector management; marketing and communications; and the promotion and protection of the Champagne AOC across the world. Follow the Comité on Instagram, Facebook and X to receive the latest news.