Harvest Yield Increase Announced for Champagne

Champagne growers and houses recently agreed on an increase for the 2010 harvest yield, in part due to the current recovery in sales.

The 2010 harvest yield for Champagne will be 10,500 kilos per hectare, compared to just 700 kilos per hectare in 2009. The increase is due in part to the recent recovery in domestic and international sales, and it is intended to send a clear message that the 2009 crisis is truly in the past. In fact, according to a recent interview with Ghislain de Montgolfier, who is the president of the Union des Maisons de Champagne (UMC), they are counting on a broad level of consumption, especially in Europe. The UMC is currently lacking confidence in estimated year end sales figures, and if they are not as high as expected it could potentially bring hard times on some of Champagne’s growers and houses.

The difficulty in predicting sales this year is mainly due to the fact that Champagne sales fell last year by 9 percent in volume and 16.6 percent in value, as compared to 2008. Conversely, during the first quarter of 2010, export sales were up by 25 percent in the EU and 57 percent around the globe. As a result of this increase, the Champagne Wines Committee (CIVC) is currently predicting bottle sales for 2010 to reach nearly 315m, compared to only 295m total bottles sold in 2009.

Although the UWC – along with many of the world’s savvy fine wine investors and industry leaders, including many of the Champagne growers and houses – may feel optimistic about the 2010 harvest, some are more cautious in their predictions, opting instead to tread carefully. Regardless, it remains a good idea to keep an eye on the Western European (and the world) economy before jumping into any investment, and there’s no time like the present to pop open a bottle of fine Champagne!


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