According to experts in the Champagne industry, 2016 has been the most difficult growing season in 60 years. Thus, one very important question looms: Are we in store for a shortage of bubbly?
If so, we definitely have the weather to blame. This past spring was plagued with late frosts in the Côte des Bar region, which contains about a quarter of all Champagne vineyards. One winemaker from the region told Decanter the damage was so bad that he lost around 70 percent of his potential harvest.
As if that freakish cold front wasn’t enough, it was followed by hailstorms and a mildew epidemic, both of which greatly affected crop yield. Luckily, cellarmasters and chefs de cave have a few tricks up their sleeves to make sure they’re still able to produce enough of that delicious bubbly.
During particular rough seasons, like the current one, winemakers keep older stock on hand to help supplement lost product. Although this wouldn’t be the first time reserves will come into play, they may provide a much larger role this season.
Charles Philipponnat of Champagne Philipponnat told Decanter that in order to produce enough wine for the 2016 season, “growers and houses will have to dig heavily in their reserves.”
Guess it’s time to only pop the bubbly on extra special occasions and be less wasteful with it. We’re looking at you, Beyoncé.
Looking to stretch your Champagne by making cocktails out of it? Check out some ideas below: