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The 2011 Champagne harvest has begun. With the combination of early flowering, low rain levels in the spring, and abundance of summer sun has led to one of the earliest picking seasons since 1822, the Champagne Bureau said today.
The three prominent planted grape varieties: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier, are being hand-harvested across the region with favorable weather forecasts for the next few days.
"As we celebrate another successful harvest from this unique region, we are reminded of the importance that location plays in every bottle of wine and renew our call on the United States to join the majority of the rest of the world in reserving the term Champagne only for wines made with grapes from this specific place," said Sam Heitner, U.S. director of the Champagne Bureau.
“This year, the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC), the region’s trade body, has raised the amount of grapes that can be harvested in a given area to 12,500 kilograms per hectare (kg/ha),” says Heitner. “They believe that this will keep Champagne on track to meet the growing demand. This is good news for Champagne enthusiasts everywhere, as more people will be able to enjoy real Champagne, which can only come from Champagne, France.”
Wine and Travel Writer