As sales of Champagne continue to surge, the region’s growers and houses have decided to set an ‘available yield’ of 12,000 kg/ha for this year’s harvest, which is the highest levels seen in a decade.
Announced this week, the quantity of grapes that can be harvested for this year’s vintage in Champagne has been set at a much greater level than in recent years, and, at 12,000kg/ha, represents the highest figure since 2011 – when the region reached an annual shipment figure of 323m million bottles per year.
The yield limit increase for the upcoming harvest has been instigated to make up for the naturally small harvest last year – one of the lowest on record producing around 6,000kg/ha – and to supply the continued increase in Champagne demand, with the latest shipment figures showing a growth rate of almost 14% compared to last year.
Champagne shipments in the first half of 2022 are reportedly close to 130 million bottles already, representing a rise of 13.8% compared to the same period in 2021. This total includes 79.6 million bottles for export markets, which are up 16.8%, while France is up 9.3% with 50.3 million bottles.
Champagne shipped 320 million bottles last year, its highest volume for a decade, and 75m more than 2020, when the Covid pandemic had its greatest impact on the sparkling wine region.
The harvest, which is expected to start in the last ten days of August, will also see a new initiative for the Champagne region, which has been dubbed ‘the deferred release of the reserve’.
The idea is to build up a ‘deferred release reserve credit’ for a grower when the quantities harvested and the reserve prove insufficient to reach the available yield set for the year.
This credit, managed by the Comité Champagne, can be used over the next three years as the reserve gets replenished.
The objective is to provide the means to reach the available yield set by Comité Champagne each year, in order to ensure a balance between supply and demand in the market.
While the maximum yield set by the Comité Champagne in 2022 for grapes to be made into wine from this vintage is 12,000kg/ha, a further quantity of bunches can be picked to put into a ‘reserve’, which consists of wine held in tanks for future use – i.e for blending to make multi-vintage / non-vintage Champagne.
See below for figures showing Champagne yields set by the Comité Champagne since 2010 (with actual yields achieved by the growers in brackets) followed by shipment figures for the region in that year.
|2021||10,000kg/ha (6-6,500 kg/ha) 320m bottles|
|2020||8,000kg/ha (12,000 kg/ha) 245m bottles|
|2019||10,200kg/ha (10,500 kg/ha) 297.5m bottles|
|2018||10,800kg/ha (11,000 kg/ha) 301.9m bottles|
|2017||10,800kg/ha (11,300 kg/ha) 307.3m bottles|
|2016||10,800kg/ha (9,100 kg/ha) 306.1m bottles|
|2015||10,600kg/ha (11,700 kg/ha) 313m bottles|
|2014||10,500kg/ha (14,000 kg/ha) 307m bottles|
|2013||10,500kg/ha (13,800 kg/ha) 305m bottles|
|2012||11,000kg/ha (9,200 kg/ha) 309m bottles|
|2011||12,500kg/ha (14,500 kg/ha) 323m bottles|
|2010||10,500kg/ha (14,000 kg/ha) 319m bottles|