According to Champagne De Castelnau’s Louis-Charles Pluot it was a “bad summer” in champagne, with “cool and rainy” conditions. The vintage was rescued by a “very nice September, with two, warm sunny weeks.” (I say as a grape grower it takes more than two sunny weeks to rescue a vintage!)

Nevertheless, as Paillard pointed out, it was the Chardonnay that “resisted the poor summer conditions much better than some Pinot Noirs and Meuniers”- which, in some parts of Champagne, suffered botrytis.” ( So is that to say the best they can hope for is some half decent Blanc de blancs?)

We here in Sussex should be very grateful for an amazing season. As everyone knows conditions here have been near perfect with exceptional weather during September. In fact it was officially the driest and warmest September since records began.

To sum up then 2014 will be an exceptional vintage for Sparkling wine from Sussex, or will it? It may just turn out to be the shape of things to come?

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