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Oddly Enough

Champagne crops saved by old school workers

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Opening sequence

Oddly Enough

Champagne crops saved by old school workers

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COMING UP:Champagne crops saved by old school workers

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00:00:02
>> It's the annual harvest here in France where grapes are being picked to be turned in to champagne and sent to parties all over the world. But this year, it's looking like it's going to be particularly tough for growers thanks to some rather extraordinary weather. I'm Johnny Kauffman from Reuters and I'm here in a vineyard just outside Hans in Eastern France.
00:00:19
As you can, I'm sitting here amongst the vines in vineyard belonging to Nicola Maya, a local man. And behind me there are groups of Portuguese and Spanish pickers scurrying up and down the vine with secateurs trying to harvest the pinot noir grapes as fast as possible.>> I am cutting grapes for rich people in Champagne.
00:00:38
LAUGH]>>
This branch, it's damaged by the you see, it's completely.>> This year is looking particularly tough for growers thanks to hail and frost followed by a particularly wet spring and a particularly dry summer, which has wreaked havoc on their plans. Last year was an exceptional year in that no rain fell at all between May 15th and August 15th.
00:01:03
So I feel like we're entering a time where you have extreme climate patterns where we don't know what's going to happen.>> Everyone here in Champagne says that they are used to dealing with meteorological conditions which vary widely from one year to another. With differences in temperature, differences in rain.
00:01:19
But what they do say is that climate change is potentially having an effect on the predictability of the year. It becomes more changeable, and it becomes more difficult to plan for. What's specific about champagne though, is that one year's harvest doesn't make the bottle of champagne. In every bottle of champagne that you drink there is a mix of harvests from numerous years.
00:01:38
Which means that they can balance out over time to make sure that the quality is preserved, and drops in harvest doesn't necessarily mean that a drop in production.