Only grapes handpicked from specific, delineated plots in the appellation can be used to produce Champagne. Located 90 miles northwest of Paris, the region covers less than 80,000 acres. In addition to allowing grapes to be grown only in a limited number of plots within the region and requiring harvest by hand, the Champagne appellation has strict regulations regarding all aspects of the cycle – from the planting of the vine through harvest, pressing and bottling – all designed to ensure quality for consumers. The grapes picked this month will go into non-vintage wines that sit on the lees for at least fifteen months, reserve wines for future non-vintages or, if the producer deems this year’s harvest worthy, vintages that remain in the caves for at least three years.

“When it comes to wine, location is an integral part of the product. Champagne’s carefully regulated harvest puts quality first and is one of the many reasons that Champagne only comes from Champagne,” said Sam Heitner, Director of the Bureau of Champagne, USA.