Champagne grapes lashed
BAD weather caused a severe decrease in this year’s grape harvest in the Champagne region, but growers predicted quality would trump quantity in this vintage.
The area in northern France suffered punishing rain and hail that damaged the grapes in mid-August, just before the harvest.
The pickers have had to be highly selective because the late rain caused a fungus known as botrytis bunch rot to affect the mature grapes.
This year’s harvest is the earliest since 1950.