The Champagne region of France is known for its exquisite sparkling wine, and the grape harvest season is a crucial time for champagne producers. As the climate continues to change, grape growers and winemakers face new challenges every year. To adapt and thrive in this dynamic environment, legacy champagne house Moët & Chandon has partnered with Hiphen, a cutting-edge imaging solutions provider, to revolutionize grape quality assessment at harvest. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of the grape harvest season in Champagne, the pivotal role of environmental factors, and how Hiphen's PhenoStations are making a difference.
The Importance of the Grape Harvest Season
For champagne producers, the grape harvest season is the most critical and hectic period of the year. The quality of grapes harvested during this time directly influences the flavor, aroma, and overall quality of the champagne produced. Traditionally, grape harvesting in the Champagne region begins in late August or early September and can extend for several weeks. During this time, vineyard workers meticulously collect grapes, ensuring that the finest fruit is selected for vinification. However, with large vineyards, many providers and a short harvesting time frame, it’s a tough job to precisely monitor the quality of every grape that comes into the pressing facilities by human eye.
The Impact of Climate Change and Environmental Factors
Climate change is having a profound impact on grape growing and winemaking worldwide, and Champagne is no exception. The region is experiencing more unpredictable weather patterns, including hotter summers and unpredictable rainfall. These changes can lead to various challenges for grape growers, including the risk of diseases and fungi in the vineyards such as Botrytis Cinerea or Acid rot among others.
While monitoring and mitigating these environmental factors is helpful to make yield estimations early in the season, assessing the quality of the harvested fruits is crucial to ensuring a successful harvest and maintaining the high standards of champagne production. This is where Hiphen's innovative PhenoStation® technology comes into play.
Hiphen's Role in Maximizing Harvest Efficiency
Hiphen, an agricultural imaging solutions company at the forefront of innovation, is supporting Moët & Chandon during the grape harvest season by providing real-time grape quality assessments. Their cutting-edge approach involves collecting imaging data to create homogenous grape batches before the vinification process begins. The tailor-made solution integrates seamlessly into the operational workflows, so it doesn’t take more time using a PhenoStation® than making more “traditional” grape batching based on eye scoring.
Hiphen's PhenoStation® work tirelessly, monitoring grape crates 24/7 during the entire harvest period. These stations help identify and track potential issues, such as diseases or fungi, but also maturity issues, allowing for proactive and non-destructive measures to be taken. By doing so, they ensure that only the healthiest grapes are used in champagne production, maintaining the exceptional quality that consumers expect from Moët & Chandon products.
They talk about Us
Several articles have highlighted the collaboration between Moët & Chandon and Hiphen during this years and previous grape harvest season. Experts and medias have commended the partnership for its forward-thinking approach to post-harvest quality assessment through imaging solutions:
Join Us at the VITeff in Epernay next October 10-13 to Learn More about PhenoStation®
If you're intrigued by the intersection of technology and winemaking, join us at VITeff (The biggest European Sparkling Wine Technology Exhibition) to discover more about Hiphen's PhenoStation® and its impact on post-harvest quality assessment. Our experts will be on hand to answer your questions and provide insights into how the system adapts into your operational workflow.
Find more information about VITeff at: https://www.viteff.com/
Watch The Video to See How It Works in Details
For a firsthand look at how Hiphen's technology is transforming the grape harvest season in Champagne, watch our video. It's available in both French and English, so you can dive deep into the details of this exciting collaboration.
🇺🇸 English 🇺🇸
🇫🇷 Français 🇫🇷
To conclude, the grape harvest season in Champagne is a time-honored tradition that is now adapting to meet the challenges posed by climate change and environmental factors from one vintage to another. Thanks to innovative technology like Hiphen's PhenoStation®, champagne producers like Moët & Chandon can adapt and thrive while maintaining the exceptional quality that has made Champagne a symbol of celebration worldwide. This collaboration between tradition and technology is paving the way for a prosperous future for the Champagne region and other wine and sparkling beverages production areas around the globe.
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