This time of year, France is focused on its wine harvest but this year is different to recent years, an unusually mild March and frosty April, difficult ripening due to water stress and scorching heat in June and August has led to low yields, the lowest since 1945. And with unpredictable rains now forecast the race is on to pick the grapes.
“Our harvest started historically early this year on 11th August at 2am to take advantage of the cooler late-night temperatures. The harvest started 15 days earlier than 2106 and 30 days earlier than the 1988 vintage. Take note climate change sceptics”. said Fanny.
Fanny who is the wine maker at the Chateau, said yields are down by 45% to 60% based the grape variety compared to yields of the last 5 years. This has been caused by a very cold spring, extremely hot June and August and 3 months without rain.
Despite the difficult conditions Fanny was upbeat with the harvest “the health of the vines was perfect, the grape quality fabulous and the foliage remained intact till the end of the harvest”.
“The whites look like being very expressive with quite high acidity, a surprising result in hot weather, with alcohol levels of between 12% to 14%” said Francois who manages the vineyards.
“The grape juice from the reds is displaying enormous rich colour, with aromas of blackcurrant, blackberries and eucalyptus, Yes already”! exclaimed Fanny. With alcohol between 13% to 15%” she added.