The Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) -which is kind of the boss of Champagene – is having heated discussions with the vineyard owners relating to the “yield” limits for the 2020 harvest ie how many tonnes of grapes can be harvested and turned into fizz.
Covid is causing issues everywhere with the wine industry…and in France it is no different
“The négociant and growers’ unions are at loggerheads as the growers want the yield limit to remain similar to previous years at around 10,000 kg/ha, while the négociants – the houses and brands within the region – want the yield for 2020 to drop by a third” wrote Chris Wilson for Decanter Magazine.
Sales were lower than normal earlier this year, with so many restaurants and hotels closed globally, so the houses want to ensure that there is no oversupply.
For months, lockdown made weddings, dining out, parties and international travel impossible. So – much less champagne has been consumed. The industry expects an overstock of about 100 million bottles by the end of the year.
“We are experiencing a crisis that we evaluate to be even worse than the Great Depression” of 1929, said Thibaut Le Mailloux of the Champagne Committee, (CIVC) – an organisation that represents pver 16,000 winemakers.
The CIVC regulates the size of the harvest each year in order to protect the price of the product. So it is widely expected that a maximum limit of “yield” for the 2020 harvest will be imposed. This may mean that huge quantities of grapes will be destroyed or sold to distilleries at discounted prices.
French vineyard owner Bernard Beaulieu told The Times: ‘This absence of an agreement one month before harvest time has never happened since the Second World War.’