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Let’s Blame Climate Change: French Champagne Makers See Stars Aligned For Record Harvest

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Channel NewsAsia

REIMS, France: In the hilly region of Champagne in eastern France, winegrowers are bringing in grapes early this year for a harvest they expect to be one of the best in a decade.

The harvest began at the end of August for most vineyards instead of the usual September after a rainy winter and a summer heat-wave look set to yield a bumper crop and high-quality bubbly.

Champagne wines are expected to see a sharp rise in production, up 56 per cent from last year to 3.5 million hectoliters, after several years of unsatisfying crops due to bad weather.

“The last few years have been tough, this year is expected to be exceptionally good so we are very happy,” said the president of Champagne winegrowers’ union, Maxime Toubart.

While most Champagne winegrowers are celebrating an exceptional harvest, others see the beginning of long-term change in the region.

Winegrower Eric Rodez, who runs his own vineyards and operates a 1936-built traditional press, is convinced climate change is making earlier harvests the norm.

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