While the alcoholic fermentation is coming to an end, let’s come back to the harvest.
The 2021 vintage sum up for the Champagne vineyards – in particular because of the trying weather – by difficult, cool and humid. From the start the weather was harsh with the vines, starting with late frosts in April when bud burst, threatening the buds and the harvest.
Spring was mild, marked by cool temperatures from May to June, and rainy with May being wetter than average. Then strong heat came to contrast the end of the season with violent thunderstorms at the end of June. In Charly-sur-Marne, the most impressive was observed on June 19th with up to 60mm of rain in places, but also hailstones 5mm in diameter and wind gusts of up to 150 km / h (93,20 mph). All this bad weather was not without consequences, particularly the rainy weather during June and July which favored the development of downy mildew. The heat and the sun will be made to wait in vain throughout the vegetative cycle without ever giving us a break.
It was difficult to hold out until the harvest, as outbreaks of gray rot once again threatened Champagne on the eve of the harvest. But we managed to hold out until September 13th and harvest our grapes at the best time. Thanks to our 100% manual harvesting system and rigorous sorting in the vineyard, we were able to bring back healthy grapes and press quality juice. After 3 good harvests, the 2021 harvest will have been one of the smallest in Champagne since the 1950s, the Champagne Committee estimates the overall losses for the 2021 harvest at 30%, and this was up to 100% in certain areas.
But we are confident in the quality of our future champagnes. However, it is still too early to qualify the juices in terms of taste, we will have to wait until the end of the malolactic fermentations to discover the true character of 2021.