Oct 3, 2013

2013 Harvest blog 1 - Condrieu & Côte Rôtie

It is finally harvest time after a particularly long growing season hindered by rains and lower average temperatures for many wine regions in France. Due to the lower average temperatures this year, the waiting period for grapes to reach ripeness has been extensive as this years' harvests are generally 2-3 weeks later compared to the last year. Harvest in most Burgundy vineyards starts later than in 2010, a vintage also known for lower average temperatures, higher acidity and wines needing extensive periods of bottle maturation to become more accessible. It is interesting to seen how much rot is found on the grapes, the high-end growers fearing that this vintage will be one with a significantly lower yield (in tonnes) than usual as the quantity of non-healthy grapes is higher, driving the overall quantity produced down due to careful selection of grapes.

This year I will start harvesting in the Northern Rhone Valley, at Condrieu and Côte Rôtie, 40 kilometeters south of Lyon, for Viognier and Syrah grape varieties. Harvest season finally began and vinemakers now hurry to harvest all grapes before the looming rains during the weekend.

After the harvest in Northern Rhone, I will travel north 220 km to Burgundy's Gevrey-Chambertin for Pinot noir and Chardonnay harvests. Reports are on the way and readers will be provided with information on how the vintage develops. Stay tuned. 

Alarm clocks are set for waking up at 6.15 am, it will be a long but interesting day tomorrow. 

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