A Champagne shortage of historic proportions is coming.
After several months of bad weather, mildew, and rot, the world’s supply of Champagne will be dramatically impacted for the rest of the year. According to Decanter, 2016 was one of the lowest yielding Champagne seasons since the 1980s, and the most difficult season since 1956.
During the spring, late frosts affected the Cote des Bar region, which impacted a quarter of the world’s Champagne vineyards. Jean Pierre Fleury, a winemaker in Courteron, revealed that the frost resulted in a 70 percent loss of his possible harvest.
Furthermore, the Aube was later affected by hailstorms. Eventually, a mildew epidemic greatly altered the potential crop.
Olivier Horiot, grower and wine cultivator at Les Riceys, stated that the sub-region’s yield would probably be around 2,500 to 3,000 kg/hectare, a mere fraction of the 10,700 kg/hectare that was predicted in July.
Charles Philipponnat, General Manager at Champagne Philipponnat, said winemakers will need to “dig heavily” in their reserves in order to satisfy the 2016 yields.
In addition to poor weather, mildew and rot have significantly impacted this year’s crop. Although gray rot was not observed until the end of July, it quickly spread to 65 percent of the champagne vineyards.
Furthermore, 99 percent of vineyards observed had symptoms of mildew, and 34 percent had a 10 percent or higher loss in yield due to mildew. Additionally, in 4 percent of the vineyards more than 50 percent of crops were affected, according to Magister, an agronomic agency.
Champagne is not the only liquor that is experiencing an international shortage. According to CNN Money, the demand for fine Scotch has hit record highs, leading to a shortage that may last well over a decade.
"The shortage of old and rare single malt ... has already started, and it's going to get worse," said Rickesh Kishnani, founder of world's first whisky investment fund.
Although distillers are trying to increase production, Scotch takes several years to produce. By law, all Scotch whisky is required to be aged for at least three years.
"We are currently working at full capacity -- seven days a week, 24 hours a day," explained Charlie Whitfield, brand manager for Macallan. "We just need to be patient and allow those casks to work their magic."