Grapes-in-the-rain-11th-septAfter what has been a really difficult year weather-wise the Champagne harvest has just got started with many people saying that, although the quantity will be smallish, the quality could be superb.

Didier Gimonet of Pierre Gimonnet & Fils told me this year reminds him of 1996 and 2008 what great years those were. The sugar level is high and there's plenty of acidity to give a perfect balance.

Over the course of the next days and weeks we'll be bringing you comments, posts and videos about what's going on. It will almost be like being here yourself so come back soon and take a look at what's new




More Videos From The 2012 Champagne Harvest

The harvest is over for this year; the juice ( or must as it is called ) has fermented into still wine and many people have also competed the malo-lactic fermentation.

So things are quieter in Champagne now while the wines rest in barrels or tanks until the time comes to taste and blend them in the new year.

It's a good time to take a look back at the harvest with the help of a few pictures I haven't yet posted and below those, a couple of new videos direct from the vineyards and the press room to show you exactly what it's like here in Champagne during harvest time.

Having Fun Harvesting In Champagne

A character in the vineyardsToday was just a perfect day in Champagne.

Not a cloud in the sky, warm sunshine despite a bit of an Autumn chill in the air first thing this morning and wonderful scenery.

I felt lucky to be here so I walked into the vineyards to see what I could find.

I came across some fascinating characters of which there are many in Champagne if you can just get chatting to them. Take a look at the guy in the picture, for example.

I took a short video to show you exactly what it's like to do the harvest and to show you some people having a lot of fun getting the grapes in.

I only shot the film this morning so haven't spent too much time editing it, so it's a bit 'rough' around the edges.

There are many more videos coming up so do come back to visit soon


Stay Bubbly


Looking Like A Vintage Year

Carrying the newly cut grapesThe 2012 Champagne harvest started last week down in the Aube region, but this week work has started around Reims and Epernay. The sun has been shining too, but as I write this in the evening of September 21st the rain has come back and it's getting quite chilly. Autumn is well on it's way.

The rain will be welcome news to the vignerons, mind you, because it will plump up the grapes which are quite small this year.

Strange how vignerons never seem to be entirely satisfied, whatever the weather. After huge amounts of rain in Spring and early summer which threatened to ruin the crop, they were praying for the sun to come back.

Their prayers seemed to have worked, because a few weeks warm and sunny weather in August saved the day and despite the yield this year being well down on a normal year, many people are saying that the quality of the 2012 harvest is outstanding.

Yesterday I visited Jean Milan in Oger, Bertrand Devavry in Champillon and Huré Frères in Ludes, so as to get a good cross section of opinion across the different regions. Below is a short video to show you what they said.

Today I visted Pierre Gimonnet in Cuis and I have many more interviews and videos to share with you in the coming days.

Meanwhile Stay Bubbly, send me your comments and come back to visit soon


Black And Green Grapes Together

Just a quick video I took this afternoon in Bouzy. It will really show you why the champagne houses don't quite know when to start picking

David Pehu Talks About The Prospects For The 2012 Harvest

David-Pehus-Copper-Bath-225You may well wonder what a copper bath has to do with the harvest, or with champagne at all for that matter, so let me explain.

The other day I went to see David Pehu at Champagne Pehu Simonet. David is a real character, always has lots of projects on the go and what he has to say is always worth listening to.

He also happens to make superb champagne and you don't need simply to take my word for it. His importer in the USA is Michael Skurnik Wines whose range of champagnes is personally selected by Terry Thiese, one of the leading authorities on grower champagnes in the States, if not the world. He only goes for the best.

Anyway, back to the copper bath and the harvest...