STOP PRESS - literally

A bit of a conundrum in the making in some areas of Champagne

Chatting to a few champagne producers I'm hearing that the sugar levels in the grapes are barely up to what is needed and of course if the sugar is not there then the potential alcohol won't get up to the desired level either.

The weather over the past few days has been cool and fairly wet and of course that's not what we need to ripen the grapes and get that sugar count up, so several growers are holding back with the picking to see if the situation improves.

I have even heard that the picking and pressing in some areas have been stopped temporarily to allow more time for ripening the grapes.

On the other hand if you wait a few days in the hope of more sun and in fact you get more rain then that increases the risk of grey rot setting in, so there there's a fine line to tread between waiting and carrying on.

More news as soon as we get it