Champagne harvest ‘hardest and shortest’ in history

24th October, 2017 by Patrick Schmitt

This year’s harvest in Champagne was the shortest in Bollinger’s history and the hardest yet faced by the brand’s cellar master, Gilles Descôtes.

Gilles Descôtes: ‘This year was the most challenging vintage of my career’

Although the vintage started well, with hot and dry weather from May until late July (favouring an early budburst and blossoming), the month of August turned out to be warm and wet – conditions that favour the incidence and rapid spread of botrytis in the bunches.

And it was the threat of rotten grapes that made it necessary to pick extremely quickly, as well as sort very carefully, said Descôtes at a lunch in London last week.

“We had very dry, sunny weather from May to July and some….

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