Town by town, variety by variety, the Champagne Committee (CIVC) has released the starting dates for this years harvest. The first grapes are being cut today in the village of Hautvillers for Champagne Joseph Desruets.
Among the grape varietals, pinot meunier, pinot noir and chardonnay- the Pinot Meunier is the earliest to be picked. But the year 2016 is marked by large disparities in maturity between vines, between plots, and sometimes for some winemakers in the same plot! Consequence: the harvest could be very spread out. One thing is certain, too, because of bad weather in spring, there will be less grape to harvest this year: 30% less according to the Champagne Committee.
Fortunately, and this is a specificity of Champagne, there is the reserve (‘Reserve Wine’). The 2016 yields were fixed on 20 July by the Committee Champagne 10 800 kilos per hectare, of which 9,700 kilos of grapes are harvested per hectare and 1,100 kilos collected in the reserves! In 2015, quotas were set at 10 500 kg / hectare to 500 kilos only out of reserves.