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Champagne yields set for 2012 harvest

The yields for the 2012 harvest in Champagne have been set.

Harvest time looms in Champagne

The CIVC, the Unions des Maisons de Champagne and the Syndicat Général des Vignerons announced yesterday that the yield would be set at 11,000kg per hectare – a 12% decrease on 2011.

The yield is exactly the amount predicted by Henriot’s cellar master, Laurent Fresnet, when he spoke to the drinks business earlier this week.

A maximum of 12,000kg/ha will be allowed as will a 10,000kg/ha reserve.

However, with the yields already so low, the Champagne bodies also announced that those growers unable to meet the required yields will be allowed to use their reserve wines to bring their production up.

The small harvest will be a blow to producers, Champagne sales in the UK may be slowing by volume but they are growing by value (6% between July 2011 and July 2012).

Around the world too Champagne sales are growing, particularly in the emerging markets of Asia, South America and Eastern Europe.

The harvest itself is due to begin over the course of next week and while the growing season has been beset by difficulties, there are hopes that the quality of the fruit that remains will be high, particularly if the current good weather holds.

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