Champagne growers and houses have decided together to set an available yield of 12,000 kg/ha for the 2022 harvest. This is the highest level in 15 years (2007).
In its press release, the Comité Champagne (CIVC) explains that in 2020 the pandemic had an impact on sales, which fell by 18%.
In 2021, champagne sales hugely recovered and Comité Champagne set the maximum yield at 10,000 kg per hectare, one of the highest levels seen in the region this century, taking into account the good results of the year and the positive outlook in the medium term. However, the harvest was cut in half by frost, mildew, and hail.
For 2023 and beyond, the Comité Champagne explains that “Everything leads us to believe that the current sustained demand will continue for a long time. Moreover, to date, the Champagne vineyard is in an excellent sanitary state. Champagne growers and houses have decided together to set an available yield of 12,000 kg/ha for the 2022 harvest.”
Champagne Maximum Yields
Each year, the Comité Champagne revises upwards or downwards the harvest base yield fixed by the INAO (the French organization charged with regulating the AOCs) at 10,400 kg/ha, depending on the quality and quantity of the yield, but capped at 15,500 kg/ha.
The rationale for capping yields lies in the high-density planting system in Champagne, with vines planted very close together (8,000 per hectare) to improve ripening and, therefore, quality.
The juice extraction from the grapes is also limited, at 102 l per 160 kg of grape, bringing the final yield to 66 hl/ha.
Based on the above, it takes on average a single vine to produce the equivalent of one bottle of champagne, and one hectare (2.47 acres) to produce 8,000 bottles of champagne.
However, in good years, harvest yield limits can be exceeded, and extra kilos of grapes are set aside, in the form of reserve wines, as a precaution against disappointing future crops.
These wines are stored in temperature-controlled tanks, forming a reserve stock that is managed by the Comité Champagne, to continually align the champagne production with demand and avoid shortages or oversupply.