How Champagne needs to adapt to meet challenges of climate change

My article on how Champagne is starting to adapt to meet the challenges of climate change is published this week in the Champagne Report, sent out with the November issue of The Drinks Business. It’s a long, 10-page feature, but then it’s a huge subject. The work going on looking at developing potentially suitable new grape varieties to combat hotter and sunnier summers in Champagne, is feature worthy alone. And I attempt to cover a lot more ground. This feature was actually written back in March, but publication was unfortunately delayed by Covid-19.

As this piece is looking much further ahead, hopefully that delay doesn’t make it any less newsworthy. In fact, since it was written, we have seen the earliest ever start to a harvest in Champagne, so this is likely to remain the biggest issue Champagne has to address over the next couple of decades.

Here’s a link to a pdf of the feature so you can read it all

Earliest ever start to Champagne harvest

The Champagne harvest began yesterday (13 August) in the Côte des Bars village of Buxeuil, which is one of the southernmost villages in the whole Champagne appellation, close to Les Riceys, Champagne’s largest single cru. This is the sixth harvest since the Millennium that has started in August and beats the record for the earliest ever start – in 2018 the secateurs were out in the Grand Cru of Ambonnay on 17 August — by four whole days. The producer involved is Noël Leblond-Lenoir, a grower with 13 hectares of vineyard mainly planted with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir though they also have some Pinot Blanc.
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