Élimination of bouvreux on the entire Cattier estate.

Another surprising feature of this year’s harvest was the removal of “bouvreux” bunches from all of our vines.


These are bunches which ripen late, bunches that are still green when it comes time to harvest and which will not ripen further – or will ripen far too late to be picked with the rest.

We’ve been pondering the problem of “bouvreux” bunches for years, but had never properly addressed it – every other year, our scheduling and the various other post-harvest tasks got in the way. Thanks to the early harvest this year, however, we had the perfect opportunity to do something about it.

The aim here is to free the vines of these useless grapes which use up their reserves during the late ripening. By doing this, they have an easier autumn season in which they can build up their natural reserves of sugars, starches and minerals before they go dormant for the winter. The vines will have more energy when they revive in the spring, creating better conditions for the new growing cycle. Of course, this operation is not without its costs, but we decided to do it anyway to protect the health and well-being of the vines – and the quality of next year’s grapes.

This is a new approach for us and our vines, and we are undoubtedly some of the first in Champagne to do so. For more than 25 years, we’ve been thinking hard about innovation, and about how to tend our vines in a way that helps protect nature and the environment.