Could this years Champagne harvest rise by 50%?

Could this year's Champagne harvest rise by 50%?

The French Ministry of Agriculture has predicted a soaring Champagne harvest this year.

The ministry's statistics and forecasting service, Agreste, said earlier this week that it expects the 2013 harvest to come in at around 3.1m hectolitres, an increase of 56% on 2012. The forecast is based on good growing conditions for Champagne that saw “the flowering and fruit set proceeding well in July”, while cases of vine diseases are few.

However, a spokesperson for trade body the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC), said Agreste's estimates were based on the “general state of the vines six weeks from harvest”.

"The important figure to note is that 'marketable' volume has been reduced from 11,000 kilogrammes per hectolitre last year to 10,500 kg/ha in 2013, which reflects current stock levels and market conditions,” the spokesperson said.

The average harvest between 2008 and 2012 was almost 2.7m hectolitres.