• Millerandage in 2013 in the Champagne vineyards

    It's often said in Champagne that the last three weeks of the growing season determine the quality of the harvest. This idea is being taken to an extreme in 2013: in northern Europe, the first half of the year was notorious for its lousy weather, and in Champagne, as in other regions, the ripening has been slow to progress.

    At the moment, the grapes are at a critical stage. Sugar levels are still relatively low, while acidities are still high, and we're likely several weeks away from harvest. Yet many growers whom I've talked to over the past couple weeks have been cautiously optimistic. Several people, in fact, have compared the current conditions to those of 1996, another vintage in which the final stage of the season played an important role.

    If the next few weeks are sunny, 2013 could be a good vintage, possibly even an ex
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