Under agreements made on 16 July 2014 relating to the yield for 2014 harvest, the Champagne growers and houses set a figure of 400 kilos/hectare to be released from the reserve, leaving open the possibility of increasing this to 500 kg/ha if sales exceeded 307 million bottles by the end of the year.
Although sales figures are not yet finalised, it is already clear that Champagne shipments worldwide will reach at least 307 million bottles, confirming the release of 500 kilos/hectare from the reserve and increasing the available harvest for 2014 to the equivalent of 309.6 million bottles.
The ‘Champagne reserve’ system, which allows part of the crop to be set aside in good years, is unique across the world. It enables the Champagne region to cushion the effects of a very poor harvest.
Winegrowers' incomes and supplies to Champagne houses are guaranteed, stocks are maintained and the smooth running of the Champagne economy is ensured.
The Champagne growers and houses are pleased by this return to growth. 2014 shipments recorded a rise of 1% by volume compared with 2013 (305 million bottles). Annual turnover totalized 4.5 billion euros, which constitutes the second best performance in the Champagne region's history thanks to the dynamism of export markets.
Thibaut Le Mailloux
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