On August 27th, 2011, we view the ongoing Champagne harvest from a very windy spot, over the valley of Verzenay and under the foot of G.H. Mumm's windmill.
Key points: the bustling of the harvesters in and all around the vines, the many white high-top vans dropping them off at their work stations, lots of vines and plenty of sun and wind.
Over the past week, weather conditions have been changing, challenging for both grapes and harvesters: a major heat wave turned almost overnight into rain and much cooler temperatures.
Under these very unfavourable working conditions, the harvesters cut the grapes, transfer the grapes to smaller baskets or plastic buckets, then transfer from basket or bucket to larger plastic crate, which are then piled onto palettes. All of this is done by hand!
These are just some of the hidden realities behind the scenes - what is required to produce a high quality champagne. 2011 is a promising vintage!