Champagne Harvest 2011 BlogWelcome to the My Man In Champagne Harvest 2011 blog!  We'll be uploading new posts as often as we can over the next few weeks during the Champagne Harvest of 2011.

This is an exceptionally early harvest due to hot early start to the vintage so it will be exciting to see how things pan out and what the growers and producers make of the quality of the grapes.  Look out here for as-it-happens photography, information and the odd video.  Thanks for watching!

Where's Harvest 2011 Gone?

altLast year's  Harvest  was unusual to say the least.

After predictions in Spring about the harvest kicking off as early as mid-August , things didn't quite turn out as forecast because some unseasonally cool and wet weather in July and early August slowed down the ripening of the grapes.

Mind you, 2011 will still go down in history as the second earliest harvest ever. I believe there was one back in the 1800s  that was even earlier.

Be that as it may, it's time to turn our attention to 2012, but if you'd like to look back on the videos and articles from last year's harvest you'll find them all in the Library section.

Just click on the Library menu at the head of this page and you'll find everything there under the title Harvest 2011

Chatting in the vat room with Jean-Pierre Vazart

Jean-Pierre Vazart is the head of Champagne Vazart-Coquart in Chouilly, a Grand Cru villaqge in La Côte des Blancs.

Its been a bizarre harvest this year for him too and in this video he explains why

Watch out for the loud noises, we were right under the press itself and there was a lot going on around




There's always the washing up!

At Champagne Huré Frères we saw a traditional press in action. In today's video we pay a visit to Champagne Penet-Chardonnet in Verzy to discover a different way of doing things... followed by the washing up of course!

In this video you can see the juice as it comes off the press and discover how it is seperated into different batches. Just another of the many regulations designed to keep the quality of the finished product at a consistently high level.


Interview with Patrick Manceaux

Every harvest is a balancing act.

Do you start picking as soon as the official start date is announced so as to be sure to get the harvest in safely before any bad weather has a chance to set in, or do you wait to get even riper grapes and risk rain and, what's worse, rot setting in?

This year the best results appear to have gone to those champagne makers, who like Patrick, stopped their harvest for a few days in the hope that the rain would hold off and the grapes would ripen that litle bit more that could make all the difference to the final champagne.

That decision looks to have paid off. Patrick explains why in this short video 

Interview with François Huré

François Huré is the current head of  Champagne Huré Frères in Ludes in the Montagne de Reims area of Champagne.

Before taking over the family champagne business François worked in wineries in Australia and New Zealand and learned to combine the best New World practices with his traditional skills from Champagne.

This not only means that he speaks great English but he also brings a dynamic and innovative approach to his champagne making

The 2011 harvest has been a good one for François. In this 3 minute video he explains exactly why