Champagne Harvest 2011

Benoit Tarlant, 12th generation winemaker at Champagne Tarlant talks Harvest 2011

Thanks to the earliest Champagne harvest since 1822, whilst the rest of France has been on its annual August holidays, some champenois began picking grapes as early as Friday August 19th 2011, and all but two cru in the Marne will have harvested their grapes before the start of September.

“After an unseasonably severe winter and a spring that was more like summer, the vineyard calendar has been moved forward. This is the first time that Champagne has seen the combination of a significant lack of rain during the spring, strong sunshine and an exceptionally early blossoming,” said a CIVC spokesperson.

Early harvest reports suggest that the grapes are quite mature with sugar and acidity in balance, especially for the chardonnays, with a 20% increase in yields permitted this year, to cope with rising consumer demand for champagne.

Champagne Expert Answering your questions online:
Thibaut Le Mailloux, communications director for the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC), the trade association representing all of the houses and grape growers of Champagne, France, which is celebrating its 70th birthday in 2011, will be taking consumer questions online through Google Moderator until Wednesday, August 31 2011.

Want to know more about this year’s Champagne harvest? Learn which Champagne tastes best with poultry? Find out what makes Champagne different from other regions?

Please submit all your questions no later than Wednesday, August 31. Thibaut’s answers will be posted on the US Champagne Bureau website during the week of September 5th 2011.


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