End of harvest


HarvestThe harvest in the Côte d’Or is now pretty much over and the growers are happier than expected. Though the weather forecasts indicated that there would be rain at any moment during the fortnight of the harvest, in fact it stayed dry until some storms passed through on Sunday 11th, by which time virtually everything was picked.

Clearly it is not even across the board – this is definitely a year which required all due care and attention throughout the growing season – but the good guys are thoroughly pleased with the final results.  The general consensus seems to be:

  • A large crop of healthy whites. Serious growers have come in a little under the official maximum yield but doubtless there are cowboys who have gone well over. Overcroppers will have had trouble ripening their grapes.
  • A small crop of reds which have needed sorting to deselect rot. Happily people know how to do this these days, and otherwise the grapes were healthy with small bunches due to millerandage after flowering. There was some uneven ripeness too.
  • Relatively low sugar levels compared to recent years but thick skins with good colour extraction and a ripe feel to them
  • Lowish acidity yet with good pH balance. The acidity is more tartaric than malic, which means that little will be lost in the malolactic fermentation
  • A small but superb vintage in the Beaujolais!

HarvestI went down to the Maconnais on Monday to see the last grapes coming in chez Olivier Merlin. His vines were still in excellent condition with glowing golden grapes – a very happy man!