Bordeaux crop “healthy and balanced”

Bordeaux is facing an extremely early harvest but one with good potential.

Speaking to the drinks business, Sylvie Cazes, president of the Union des Grand Crus de Bordeaux, said that for the moment the outlook for the vintage was positive.

A hot spring followed by a cool summer has led to what will be an extremely early harvest. Cazes said that picking was scheduled for the 8 to 15 September when the 25 September was the normal date on average.

“We have one of the earliest harvests in our history,” she stated. “But not as early as we thought in June. We had a fabulous spring flowering and throughout the summer the crop developed perfectly well.

“We’ve had freshness in the summer and now we have sunny days and cool nights. We had some rain in August too which helped.”

However despite the early start, producers have not been caught out this year the way they were in 2003.

“It’s not as hot as 2003 so it’s fresher and the coolness slowed and balanced the maturation, which was good. We have no problems with rot at all.”

The harvesting of the white grapes was also well in advance of normal years and is largely finished now, having begun last week or even the week before.

Cazes reported that all the white growers were, “very happy” with their crop and that a number had said that, “they have never had such freshness in a hot year”.

Freshness and balance characterised Cazes’ views on the coming harvest, saying that all of the analysis pointed to a harvest of good size and well balanced.

However, she refused to commit to proclaiming another good vintage for the region saying: “Honestly we cannot say anything because we have not begun picking yet and anything can still happen. For now we touch wood.”

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