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Champagne Harvest 2022

Champagne Harvest 2022

Cristal Guiet

The 2022 Champagne harvest promises to be the best one that the appellation has experienced in the past fifteen years.   The Comité Champagne has announced that this year the cap will be set at 12,000 kg per hectare. This is encouraging news for both champagne houses and consumers of our favorite bubbly drink.  The Covid pandemic coupled with extreme weather conditions made 2020 and 2021 particularly difficult years for the industry both from an agricultural and financial perspective.

2007 – 12,400kg/ha

2008 – 12,400kg/ha

2009 – 9,700kg/ha

2010 – 10,500kg/ha

2011 – 10,500kg/ha

2012 – 11,000kg/ha

2013 – 10,000kg/ha

2014 – 10,100kg/ha

2015 – 10,000kg/ha

2016 – 9,700kg/ha

2017 – 10,300kg/ha

2018 – 10,800kg/ha

2019 – 10,200kg/ha

2020 – 8,000kg/ha

2021 – 10,000kg/ha

2022 – 12,000kg/ha

Source: Comité Champagne

This is the highest yield allowed since 2007 –  yield limits are set by Comité Champagne to maintain the rules set out by the INAO (Institut National de L’Origine et de la Qualite) who regulates the rules of the appellation.  

To put the above numbers into context, the rules of the appellation demand that the base yield per hectare is 10,400kg/ha up to a maximum yield of 15,000kg/ha to remain within the rules of the AOP production.   Champagne vineyards are particularly dense with 8,000 vines being planted per hectare which improves the ripening process as well as the quality of the fruit.  However only 102 liters of must are allowed to be produced per 160 kilograms of grapes with the final yield allowed being only sixty Hectoliters per hectare.  

The vineyards are said to be in excellent health and the harvest should take place in late August.  The 2021 harvest was particularly difficult for Champagne growers due to disease and severe weather.  The Comité has also created a new initiative that is designed to support champagne growers when they experience a particularly bad year to keep the supply of champagne to the consumer steady.  This new project is called the Deferred Release of the Reserve which will give producers a release reserve credit which can be used when the harvest yield and reserve wines are insufficient to reach the yield level that is set for a harvest year.  This credit can be used over three years as needed and will be of great importance to champagne growers as they continue to face a growing demand for champagne worldwide.  To understand what this means, Champagne growers are required to set aside a percentage of their wines each year as a safety net to compensate for a bad year 2020 or to ensure supply if the demand rises as was the case in the Millennium new year celebrations.  This reserve is managed by the Comité and can be released back to the producer as required to ensure the continuous availability of their wine to consumers.

Champagne sales continue to rise, after a drop of 18% during the height of the pandemic in 2020.  In the first semester of 2022, 130 million bottles were sold, a rise of 13.8% compared to the same period in 2021 (exportation of 79.6 million bottles a 16.8% increase) an increase in French consumption of 50.3 million bottles (an overall  increase of 9.3%).  Source: Comité Champagne

Very good news for the Champagne industry, time to drink a glass of your favorite bubbly as there is plenty more coming!  Santé!

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