2019 Champagne Harvest at AR Lenoble
It looks like the harvest will begin at Champagne AR Lenoble around 10th September although that is to be confirmed in the days ahead since we are struggling to determine the exact start date for the harvest due to big differences in the maturity of our bunches, even in the same vineyard row! 2019 has been a very challenging year between April frosts, two record-breaking heatwaves during the summer months of June and July, and drought throughout most of the year. Severe hailstorms arrived in the region on 9th August accompanied by between 15 and 30 milimetres of rainfall in only two hours, the equivalent amount of rainfall during a normal period of 10 to 20 days! After flowering started around 15th June, the grape development was affected in turns by scalding (« échaudage »), hydric stress, and then patches of botrytis. Even during flowering, we noted that some plots suffered from millerandage. In addition, our chardonnay grapes from the Grand Cru village of Chouilly were subjected to a very strong attack of oidium, and those grapes affected will need to be eliminated during the harvest since we cannot use them. The yields are going to be significantly lower than they were in 2018 to say the least, and it will be more important than ever for our harvest team to do lots of sorting (« le tri ») in the vineyards so that only the best and healthiest grapes are brought to our three Coquard presses in Damery. Once again we are seeing the impact of climate change on our world.