Report: 2020 vintage in Champagne

Picture of Richard Juhlin

Richard Juhlin

An extremely special year that will be remembered as the Year of Corona. The crisis was the worst since World War II and will definitely have repercussions for many years to come. During the spring and summer, champagne sales fell by an incredible 70% because people did not have the opportunity to go to restaurants or nightclubs during the pandemic. This led the large houses to propose a sharp reduction in harvest to keep the price levels intact. This in turn led to a tough conflict between the growers, who did not want healthy grapes to be bird-fed, and the financially strong champagne houses. As recently as a week into the harvest, a compromise was reached where the harvest was reduced to 8,000 kilos/hectare. The quality was judged to be excellent and there were good conditions for making fantastically good vintage champagne, but when the amount was so reduced, small amounts of vintage champagne will be produced because the amount of non-vintage champagne must be secured in the first place. It will be extremely interesting to see what changes in ownership structures the Corona crisis will bring to Champagne.

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