• Vincent Laval of Champagne Georges Laval, in Les Chênes, Cumières

    I stopped in Cumières yesterday afternoon to see Vincent Laval, who began harvesting last Friday. While acknowledging that this isn't going to be the vintage of the century, he was optimistic about the results so far. "We've had to adapt to the weather conditions," he said, "but things are going well."

    Meunier was the first to be picked ("It was fragile," says Laval), and yesterday the team was picking pinot noir. "The potential alcohol isn't very high, maybe around 10 degrees," he said. "But that's the vintage. There wasn't too much rot [in the meunier], although it was beginning to start, and there were storms forecasted for the weekend. If it rained, the grap
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