Champagne fails to agree on 2020 yields

Thursday July 30 2020 by Vitisphere

Negotiations over the next few weeks will be decisive.Negotiations over the next few weeks will be decisive. - Photo credit : CIVC

The occurrence is rare in a region where agreement is generally the norm - on July 22 Champagne winegrowers and negociants failed to agree on yield levels for the 2020 harvest. “A new executive board will meet over the next few days or weeks”, said Thibaut Le Mailloux, director of communications at the Champagne wine marketing board CIVC. The Covid crisis, which has made a significant dent in Champagne sales, is creating tension in Champagne. At the winegrowers’ organisation SGV the tension materialised with the decision by independent winegrowers to leave at the beginning of July, and there is no convergence of opinion between the SGV and the Champagne houses organisation UMC.

The big unknown remains the drop in sales for 2020, which is a critical piece of information for a region that sets its yields based on sales. If 200 million bottles are sold in 2020, yields could be reined in at 7,000 kg/ha (compared with 10,200 kg/ha in 2019). If sales reach 220 million bottles, yields could be set at 7,600 kg/ha, rising to 8,300 kg/ha if they were to total 240 million bottles.

Whatever the ultimate decision on yields, the 2020 harvest is expected to be early and scheduled to begin around August 15 in Aube. Will Champagne have reached a decision on yields by then?

 

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