“September makes the wine”, we’re used to hearing! Indeed, the grape harvest is the culmination of the winegrower’s work and an essential period in the viticultural year. They generally take place between September and October in the northern hemisphere, and between February and April in the southern hemisphere.
However, harvest dates depend on a number of factors: the climate (depending on temperatures, rainfall, etc.), the grape varieties planted (the vegetative cycle differs according to the type of grape) and legislation (each AOC has a defined harvest period, although this can be adapted to the needs of individual winegrowers).
Summer 2015 is drawing to a close, after a very hot month of July. The scorching temperatures have encouraged the vines to flourish, while the dry weather has curbed the development of powdery mildew and downy mildew. In the Bordeaux region, as in Loire-Atlantique, the conditions offered by this summer delighted winegrowers, and augured excellent harvests. The 2015 vintage has a good chance of being very interesting. To be continued…
However, other regions are less enthusiastic about this summer. In Alsace, winegrowers are lamenting the (relative) lack of water that has lasted for several months. Under these conditions, the vines produce smaller berries, which inevitably leads to lower yields. Further south, in the Var, the harvest has already begun! The first harvests have taken place in the Bandol AOC, with the harvest of Sauvignon Blanc.
On the whole, the 2015 vintage looks promising. Admittedly, heatwave years don’t usually produce vintages with the greatest ageing potential, but they are nonetheless qualitative vintages.