UMC - Grandes Marques et Maisons de Champagne

Exceptional vintages

1947 Harvest overview

The 1947 grape harvest began early, commencing on 2 September in the most precocious parcels then continuing in other sectors until early October. Despite the overall length of the harvest, pickers in each sector brought in the grapes in record time thanks to a long spell of hot and sunny weather. The yield was excellent, averaging 4,100kg/ha of ripe, healthy clusters that required no sorting. The grape musts had an average potential alcohol content of 11.3% by volume with an acidity of 6.5g/l H2SO4.

The winter months were unusually cold and dry, except for occasional outbreaks of rain in January and heavy snowfalls in February. Mid-March marked the end of winter dormancy, bringing a long spell of fine weather that caused the sap to flow. By 10-12 April bud break was in full swing, followed by rapid vegetative growth despite some localised damage in the areas of Avize and Monthelon due to a hailstorm on 18 April. Grape crop potential was average at best. May and June were warm, dry and sunny, creating ideal growing conditions that brought the Chardonnay vines into flower by 26 May and the entire vineyard into full bloom by the end of the month. Fruit set was excellent, with no incidence of coulure or millerandage and only isolated cases of rougeot and grape worm damage.

The weather remained dry, hot and sunny throughout the summer, except for occasional thunderstorms that saw hail wipe out nearly 100% of the vintage in the worst-affected Aube vineyards. Elsewhere the grapes were in peak condition and harvesting kicked off in the Marne Grands Crus shortly after the official start date of the vintage on Tuesday 2 September. Picking in the remaining vineyards was staggered between 10-28 September, except in the Barséquanais where harvesting continued until the beginning of October.

Yields were of excellent quality but fell slightly short of forecasts: 150,000 205-litre pièces vs 175.000.

Bulletin CIVC 15 Novembre 1947
Analysis conducted by the AVC-CIVC technical and enological services