The unprecedented weather throughout 2011 has, as we’ve mentioned before, led towards the likelihood of an early harvest in the vineyards of Charente. This is now confirmed in practically every wine growing region of France, although there are some wide variations throughout the country.
In the region of Cognac, the BNIC has stated that it expects farmers to begin the harvest around the 5th of September.
If this happens that will see the grapes collected a full three weeks ahead of normal. They are also recommending that the fruits are collected no later than September 10, in order to lessen the risk of a rapid decay in grape quality.
Major Regional Differences
Elsewhere in the region of Charente Maritime, the harvest is likely to begin this coming Monday for certain chardonnays.
In the Gers the harvest will be around three weeks in advance – with picking commencing next weekend in some areas and mid-September in the areas of Saint-Mont and Madiran.
The Basque country is expected to start around 2 weeks in advance – around the 20th September. In Bordeaux it’s a bit of a mixed bag, with maturity not at the same level everywhere in the region. For some of the white grapes, harvest will begin next Monday – but other areas are having to keep a close eye on their crops before a decision is made.
As for the merlot in St-Emillion, this could begin around September the 15th.