Following the sunny and dry weather from March through to early-mid June, things have been more complicated subsequently. Grape maturity for some vines became blocked due to the early drought, and the cold and wet July together with a fairly cool August had set the vines back. However, the last week or so has been hot with temperatures going over 30˚C so, for some, the vintage has now come forward again.
Frédéric Brochet (Ampelidae, Poitou) will start picking his Chardonnay for the sparkling wine on Thursday (25th August) and Didier Barouillet has just recently informed Catherine Roussel the 2011 Clos Roche Blanche (AC Touraine) vendange will start on Friday, so Catherine is now busy assembling her band of pickers so that they can be ready to start on the Sauvignon. "The alcohol degrees are not high," says Catherine, "but the acidity levels are dropping."
In 2010 they were still picking their Sauvignon on 20th September, so 2011 is going to be around three weeks earlier.