Located at the most northerly limits of vine cultivation, Champagne comes under the influence of a dual climate, both oceanic and continental.
Characteristics of the climate
The continental influence ensures ideal levels of sunlight in summer.
The oceanic influence brings steady rainfall, with no significant variations in annual temperatures.
This dual influence offers a guarantee of steady, yet moderate precipitation, providing the region with near-ideal rainfall which is essential for the quality of the grapes (average annual rainfall = 700mm).
The average annual temperature is 11°c.
With moderate sunshine, the growth and development of the vines is limited, giving the ripe grapes the freshness and crispness that Champagne wines require.
Dangers of the climate
Throughout the year, the vineyards are at the mercy of variable weather.
Winter frosts can be severe enough to kill the vines and spring frosts can destroy nascent buds.
Cold, rainy spells in June can disrupt flowering.
Summer frequently brings violent storms accompanied by hail, which can cause severe damage to vines and clusters.
The Champagne vineyards are planted at altitudes ranging between 90 and 300 metres.