At last! Harvests has started in France in mostly all regions.
2013 ‘s climate was very special and very difficult for the vineyards: spring was very cold and rainy, such as the beginning of summer. Then the end of July and August was globally warm and dry everywhere in France with some record sunny days in Alsace. September became suddenly cold and humid again. With such weather, all schedules have moved.
The harvest generally starts 100 days after the flowering, and this year, flowers have been 2 weeks late compared to the usual calendar. It’s of course the region and the type of grapes that have the biggest influence on the harvest’s date. For example, in Bordeaux, Merlot is harvested 2 weeks before Cabernet Franc.
To determinate the exact date for harvest, experts study locally, sometime village by village. The official date is decided by National organization (INAO) , local producer organization (interprofessionnelle) and government (prefecture). At the end, there’s an official date called:” ban des vendanges” and everyone has to follow the rules.
Languedoc Roussillon and Provence, the warmest regions, started this year during the first week of September (vs end of august) Mid September for Beaujolais, Bordeaux and Rhone Valley. Bourgogne and Champagne was very late as some areas will do the harvest the first week of October. Despite the bad weather and damages due to storm in Vouvray and some Bordeaux plots, the quality may be not so bad this year. Talking about quantity, it’s another story and this could have an effect on prices as 2012 quantity was also very low. Stocks are rare and if demands stay on the same level, this will automatically increase prices.