During the last weeks of August, France’s Champagne region sees a frenzy of thousands of season workers eager to pick the grapevines clean to produce the delicate festive drink that is known around the world as champagne. There is a slightly bitter taste to the beverage this year. Heavily impacted by the COVID-19 virus implications, the champagne industry is counting the costs.
The 16,000 winegrowers are not allowed to harvest more than 8,000 kilos per hectare, the lowest maximum in 35 years. Vazart is not satisfied with it. "It's a huge setback, a quarter less income. This really has to remain a very big exception, otherwise we will soon no longer be profitable. " It is a tough measure, agrees Le Mailloux in the splendid Art Deco-style office of the Committee in the champagne capital of Épernay. "But it is necessary, otherwise there is a risk of overproduction."