Champagneharvest on September 10th

A peek into the vines from August 26th: clusters from our low plot of Chardonnays in Loisy-en-Brie.

A peek into the vines from August 26th: clusters from our low plot of Chardonnays in Loisy-en-Brie.

It’s the annual peak in our Champagne vineyards. Next tuesday, the vendanges will be on once again:

Last preparations

We have checked the contents of the grapes. The necessary talks, meetings and discussions are through. We have called for our team (the best, of course).

Right now, we are into the last preparations, inside and outside: cleaning, shopping, cutting the grasses between the vines, checking equipment, and that’s it. Ready at the starting block.

The state of the grapes

We don’t have that many clusters, and the grapes are small. Our work method in the vineyards forces the vines into competition with the grassesfor water and minerals. The result is less grapes.

Furthermore , hail in spring and excessive heat this summer have dried some grapes and burnt others.

Those that made it are at their best. Right now in the most exciting phase of them all. We measure the maturity needed and still have sky-high acidity. We’d just like to taste more maturity as well.

Weather is almost perfect

These days, the weather allows the grapes to mature a bit longer. Still sunny every day, but not too warm at the moment. In the morning the shade is cold, due to cooler nights.

We find it difficult to pronounce the word perfect. It’s never over until the last cluster lands in a box. But we cannot imagine better conditions than the current ones.

Well, apart from some rain.

Sugar, acidity, disease

Several conversations with neighbours, collegues and others reveal a rather heterogeneous maturation, even within the same commune. Last thursday, August 29th, our grapes were at a rather mature level regarding the level of sugar. But not everybody is there yet, and this difference is likely explained by the methods we apply in the vines.

Our grapes are at a level that corresponds with 9% vol of alcohol after a first fermentation. However, our aim is to get as close to 11 as possible.

We have not seen disease all summer, and there is no risk for the grapes currently. Now we just want to keep the good level of acidity whilst gaining maturity on the taste.

The next sampling will determine the order of the plots. Tuesday we begin : yabba-dabba-doo.

Solveig Tange