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Champagne increases ”rendement butoir” to 15,000 kg/ha

>> Wednesday, November 29, 2006

030902-1-k835-0014This month’s least engaging headline? But this refers to a theme that is also often talked about in very generalised, and sometimes mistaken, terms. “Lower yields are of course much better”. Right? Not necessarily. In Bordeaux yields are often around 45-50 hl/ha. Sometimes the grower say ”we have very low yields, not more than 30 hl/ha” and you are expected to nod admiringly. But lower is not always better, especially for white wines (or think about hyper-concentrated, jammy “new world heavyweights” with 15+% of alcohol). To come back to the headline: it means that in Champagne they now allow a yield close to 100 hl/ha, certain years and under certain conditions. (To be precise: “rendement de base” is 10,400 kg/ha and “rendement butoir” has been increased from 13,000 kg/ha to 15,500 kg/ha. A press is filled with 4000 kg of grapes and from that you get 2550 litres of grape must. Do the maths.) Perhaps something to think about.


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