News from some producers from west to east:
“We will be starting on Monday 14th. Everything is looking good at the moment – we’ve had a very dry summer, although we had a little rain last week around 20mm, which has been good for the grapes. I anticipate that the harvest will run until the beginning of October.” Bernard will be sending me news and pictures as the harvest progresses.
Jérôme Choblet – Domaine des Herbauges (Muscadet-Côtes de Grandlieu)
“We’ll start by picking four or five rows in a few parcels on Monday, which will let us see how the crop is and sort out the programme of picking. The ban des vendanges allows picking to start on Thursday (10th) but as the forecast is good I think most people will wait until Monday.
Christophe Daviau, Domaine de Bablut, Brissac-Quincé, Anjou
Jean-Martin Dutour, Baudry-Dutour, Chinon
“Things are looking quite good (pas mal!). Our Cabernet Franc hasn’t suffered as we had enough rain in July. The grass here is still fairly green. I expect we will start picking the young vine Cabernet Franc for the rosé and for the lighter cuvées around 28th September. Then for the older vines will be around 5th October, which I expect will have a lot of sugar. This isn’t a problem for our top cuvées but is for the lighter cuvées. The challenge is to pick ripe grapes without too much alcohol. We’ve all been concentrating on getting the tannins ripe, forgetting that the Loire is known for its fresh wines and you can’t have that with a high level of alcohol.
“We will be starting our Sauvignon Blanc this Friday. It’s at 12.89% potential with total acidity at 4.82g per litre – superbe belle equilibre, arômés très forts. I have never seen grapes in such good condition ... the new methods of growing are starting to change the aromatic potential ... very interesting."
I understand that Jean-François will be starting the harvest next Tuesday. He will be starting with his Côt, which seems unusual, but he has some very old clones of Côt and he always harvests these first.