The harvest is the culmination of the work of a whole year. It is a crucial moment for the production, around a hundred days after the flowering, when the vigneron decides to collect the grapes ripe and mature. In Champagne the harvest is manual, it requires organization and a lot of people, each with a specific assignment. The grapes are picked and brought to the press under the supervision of a crew chief that makes sure the job is done in a short amount of time, to preserve their quality. The work appears to be easy, but it requires a lot of resistance, since most of it is conducted while crouching for many hours, be it under the sun or rain. The romantic imaginary of chants and picturesque straw hats might be put aside…
and yet, there will always be a feast, because every harvest begins with a celebration and ends in joy with large banquets called cochelets.
The harvest is generally conducted from the middle of September. The selection is strict, only healthy and homogeneously matured grapes are put in specific boxes and brought to the winery. These boxes do not contain more than 50 kg of grapes, and are cleaned after every unloading to prevent a premature fermentation.