FRANCE: Champagne expects low quality harvest
A huge, but largely low quality harvest is expected in Champagne following the highest recorded rainfall in the region since 1873. Botrytis also became a problem that affected around 25% of the grapes in the wet, humid conditions in early September, according to Moet & Chandon's head winemaker Georges Blanck.
"Rainfall has been 70% higher than usual and conditions are not very positive for grape maturation," says Blanck.
Picking in the wet would bring the already low potential alcohol down more. A problem made worse this harvest because individual grapes have already swollen to a record size and larger grapes take up water more readily. With the subsequent dilution and low levels of acidity it looks unlikely that much vintage champagne will be made.
With temperatures forecast to warm up this week, rot problems are likely to develop again, so selective picking will be very important. At least the large volume of grapes allows rotten fruit to be discarded. And because growers already hold in reserve the equivalent of half a harvest (5,500 kilos per hectare) if larger amounts of reserve wine are used in blending, the quality of non-vintage champagne should be assured.
The global roll-out of InBev's Brazilian beer, Brahma, adds a third premium brand to the global brewer's international portfolio but some observers have suggested it's an unnecessary step which threat...
Brasserie Kronenbourg has clarified earlier reports about its entry into the low alcohol beer sector in France....
Costs relating to alcohol abuse in Sweden are on the rise, according to research out this week....
Police in eastern Kenya have said that at least 24 people died on Saturday after drinking illegally produced alcohol....
According to a recently published study, people who drink alcohol may have a lower risk of developing a type of cancer which affects the lymphatic system known as non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)....
Diageo is calling for facts labels to be placed on alcohol beverages in the US....
Kenyan authorities are to ban beer and spirits advertising from television and billboards in the country, according to a local report late last week....
Post-menopausal women who consume even moderate amounts of alcohol may face an increased risk of breast cancer, according to a comprehensive US study....
- It isn't just men who like beer - Comment
- What do US wholesalers think of spirits trends?
- How the craft economy is loosening alcohol laws
- Why sports drinks fail to ride the Olympic wave
- How soft drinks can exploit alcohol's loss
- Diageo merges US, Canada spirits units
- Johnnie Walker's Bourbon bent "coincidental"
- Diageo investment paying off for Captain Morgan
- Diageo job cut figures "likely overstated"
- "We're not complacent about Brexit" - Diageo
- Global gin insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- The Next Seven Big Beverage Markets
- Global rum insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global RTD insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global non-Scotch whiskies insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends