Mark Aselstine
 
August 18, 2011 | Mark Aselstine

Champagne Region Ready to Pick

Champagne Vineyard Thanks to: http://praziq.blogspot.com/

It’s been an interesting week, moving 500+ miles has a way of eating up all of your free time. That being said, I’m now both relatively settled in and looking forward to continuing my work on this blog.

One thing which caught my attention this week was the fact that Champagne is allowing one of the earliest harvests on record this year. French wine tends to be among the most controlled in the entire world and the fact that there is a controlling body which decides when picking grapes can occur wouldn’t sit well with many American vintners, but it is a fact of life in France.

As it turns out, 2003 was the earliest picking date on record, happening only one day sooner than 2011. Given the amount of conversation going on currently within the wine community about the affects of global warming on old world regions which are more stringent on the types of grapes which can be planted and when they can be picked, earlier and earlier picking dates can be construed as an ominous sign by some and simply a small sample size according to others. How regions deal with even small changes in temperatures is going to have a dramatic effect on wine quality in the coming years, but we’ve heard a number of winemakers talk about the potential side effects of late. It’s not all doom and gloom though with the Champagne region. Farmers in the area increased production 20% year over year (thanks Decanter) to deal with world wide increases in demand.

Pinot Meunier is the first variety to be picked, followed by Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
 

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