2016 Champagne harvest to fall markedly - forecast

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This year's Champagne harvest will be one of the smallest in the past 20 years, although quality is set to be high, the Syndicat Général des Vignerons de Champagne (SGVC) has forecast.

High quality, but low quantity for this years Champagne harvest

High quality, but low quantity for this year's Champagne harvest

Speaking at a press conference in Paris yesterday, the trade association's president, Maxime Toubart, said this year's vintage resembled that of 2002, "which was a great year." The crop was down sharply in quantity, however, having suffered the effects of frost, hail and disease, Toubart added.

The SGVC estimates that this year's harvest will yield an average of between 7,000 and 7,500kgs of grapes per hectare, compared to 12,000-13,000kgs in 2015.

The Champagne trade employs a reserve wines system, supplied from abundant harvests, which offsets the risk of penury at times of small crops and spikes in demand.

"This reserve system will allow growers to get through the year but if there are two years like 2016, it will be a catastrophe," Toubart warned.

Earlier this year, listed Champagne house Vranken-Pommery Monopole declined to issue full-year targets, as growth from its still wine offerings propped up falling Champagne sales in the first six months of the year.

Sectors: Wine

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