On August 17, 2020, the first cut of this year's harvest began in some parcels of Champagne; by September 9, the harvest, the earliest in the history of the Champagne region, officially ended with an outstanding quality of grapes.
Image courtesy of: ComiteChampagne
The 2020 vintage also marks the perfect conclusion to an outstanding trilogy: as in 2018 and 2019 before it, the weather conditions made for a high-quality harvest, which is the primary factor in making a great wine.
The year started with a lot of rain and February was the wettest month on record. From mid-March, the heat and drought brought the vines to bud 16 days earlier than the average date of the last ten years, and this rapid, strong growth continued until the week before the start of the harvest.
In the summer of 2019, the Champagne region had the highest temperature ever recorded at 42.9°C; this year, it experienced the driest July in its history. This caused a below-average grape weight, but maintained good health. The juice was balanced and fresh, fruity and full of aromas, with an alcohol content of between 10 and 10.5%.
The impact of the Covid-19 epidemic has made it necessary to take health precautions for a total of about 120,000 seasonal harvesters in the vineyards and pressing centers for the 2020 harvest in Champagne.
In view of the maximum harvest of 8,000 kg/ha this year, the harvesting speed of the wineries and farmers increased slightly compared to previous years, but the harvesting period remained at around three weeks due to the ripeness of the grapes in the different villages and among the different grape varieties. The tasting of grape clusters and cores and the testing of the sugar content of the grapes allowed each farmer to start harvesting at the optimum ripening stage and to plan the best harvesting route for all plots.
With the excellent 2018/2019/2020 trilogy, the Champagne will be perfectly blended and will most likely produce outstanding vintage Champagnes that will shine at the end of the Covide-19 celebrations that people all over the world are waiting for.