At this time of year there is a flurry of activity throughout the vineyards of France, with harvesting starting, just finishing or about to begin, dependent on the wine growing region you are based in.
The 2018 vintage followed the pattern of the world cup football matches, it was a game of two halves. The winter was wet with a damp spring and the second half that followed was dry and warm, in fact July has been the hottest in France since 1947.
Jean Claude Paret from Chateau La Fauconnerie on the outskirts of St Emilion reported back “We escaped the hailstorms that decimated vineyards in Medoc, Cotes de Bourg and Blaye. Mildew was an issue earlier in the year, but the dry July reversed this, we experienced a few small black rot patches on some bunches of grapes, but it was not an issue”.
The Cote du Rhone region is looking very promising, Fanny Boyer from Chateau Beaubois said “we began the harvest on the 27th August, yet we had finished the harvest on the 28th in 2017… The white and rose are looking to have the normal lower acidity and the reds seem rich at the moment, we will find out more during extraction in the next few weeks”.
Mathieu Ginglinger from Alsace was very equally upbeat with this year’s growth, “I am predicting a good harvest 7 days earlier than last year, with better quantities”. said Mathieu
Pierre Morin one of our Sancerre growers contacted us at the end of August "Harvest may start around the 10th of September. It’s now dry for one month and grapes begin to ripe very well. It will be a good vintage" said Pierre.
Feedback from our growers in Burgundy Anne-Marie Dubreuil and Matthew Gille was “that flowering went well earlier in the year and we will be harvesting some plots 3 weeks earlier than usual”
Domaine Mas du Novi in the Languedoc will again be harvesting early, “climate change in the region has seen harvest dates move forward by approx. 30 days in 30 years” remarked wine maker Thierry Thomas.
Generally, in France yields will be up on the low crop harvests of 2017, despite issues with the wet and damp first half of the growing season.
So overall, as they say in France, c’est bon.