Champagne adopts ‘unprecedented measures’ for the 2020 harvest

Robyn Black

Robyn Black

19 August 2020

The sparkling wine has seen an historic drop in shipments this year due to Covid-19

Yesterday (Tuesday 18 August) winegrowers and Champagne houses met in Epernay and agreed a yield of 8,000 kilos per hectare (equivalent to 230-million bottles) for the 2020 harvest. Last year the maximum yield level was set at 10,200 kilos per hectare, equivalent to around 300-million bottles.

There was also an agreement to alter the terms relating to bottling and payments for this harvest, in response to the uncertainty facing the industry.

‘This approach, which demonstrates the resilience of Champagne’s interprofessional organisation, will allow the sellers of grapes to maintain an acceptable revenue, while allowing sellers of bottles to match the demands of their customers and protect their cash flow,’ said the Champagne Bureau UK in a statement.

The body also reported that this year’s harvest began on 17 August, two weeks ahead of the 10-year average and is characterised by fine quality and relatively small quantities due to drought. One-hundred-thousand seasonal workers have been brought in to pick the grapes, as Champagne rules mean they have to be picked by hand.

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