'The Champagne Academy were honoured to have Charles-Armand De Belenet from Bollinger present at this years regional dinners and to give an over view of the 2023 harvest in Champagne'
'2023 was a year of extremes, nature was extremely generous in the first part of the year, and a lot less forgiving during August and September. This year, the vineyards of Champagne faced real challenges including…'
Excessive rainfall during the first 6 months, twice as much water than usual, very little frost damage and a perfect flowering season led to weighty bunches of grapes, weighing 220 grams, far surpassing the average 130 grams.
We had significant rainfall again in August which caused swelling of the berries and created the perfect conditions for Botrytis. September, on the other hand, ushered in a heatwave, with several days soaring above 30 degrees Celsius. This elevated the pressure of sour rot, leading to a varying range in berry ripeness, from perfect Chardonnay to botrytis-infused Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
The yield reached an unprecedented 20,000 kilograms per hectare, far surpassing the commercial norm of 11,400 kilograms.
As we peer into the future, the destiny of this vintage rests in our hands, depending on the meticulous sorting, selecting, and crafting of our wines. It could be as good as 2002 or as bad as 2017…
This year the Comite Champagne CIVC released the below article on the 2023 harvest
The available yield for 2023 has been set to 11 400 kg/ha.
So far, the vineyards are in a good and uniform sanitary state from one sector to another. The wine-growing season has been fairly calm, with little frost damage (1.5% of the vineyard) and hail damage (0.3%), mildew and powdery mildew are contained ; only the recharge of soil water levels might be cause for concern. Grape clusters are in good shape, and the harvest, which currently looks promising, should begin in the first ten days of September.
The Champagne sector strengthens its resilience Climate hazards, vine decline and the ageing of vineyards are all having an impact on Champagne yields, which have fallen by 26% in twelve years. Therefore, it was decided to take full advantage of the good years to further improve the industry's resilience.
Last year, Champagne introduced an innovative scheme the ‘deferred release of the reserve’ , points out Maxime Toubart, president of the winegrowers. This year, the maximum level of reserve was raised to 10,000 kg/ha instead of 8,000 kg/ha. The INAO has agreed to look into this subject as a priority in order to allow winegrowers to plan their reserve for the upcoming harvest.
The Champagne sector strengthens its resilience
Shipments are expected to reach around 314 million bottles in 2023.
Champagne shipments in the first half of 2023 represented 125.8 million bottles, a decline of -4.7% compared to the same period in 2022. Exports, with 77.7 million bottles, fell by -3.7% ; while France recorded a decline of -6.3% with 48.1 million bottles. These results are to be put into perspective in comparison with an extraordinary 2022 (at the period of time last year, sales were up almost 14%).
"To determine the available yield for the year, winegrowers and houses have agreed on shipping forecasts for the next four years that take into account, both our confidence in the appellation, and a certain caution with regards to the global economic situation and the effects of inflation," comments David Chatillon, president of the Champagne houses.