Muscadet producers counting cost of 2012

Producers in Muscadet are lauding the 2012 vintage but are in dire need of a healthy crop this year.

Butte la RocheUnlike the majority of the Loire, Muscadet enjoyed a good vintage last year because it was able to harvest before the arrival of heavy rains in the autumn – rains which ruined the crop elsewhere in the region.

Bruno Cormerais of Domaine Bruno Cormerais, told the drinks business: “2012 will be a great vintage, it has lots of fruit and some minerality.

“There were small quantities but with that comes concentration. It’s one of the best vintages in the 42 years I’ve seen.”

“It’s a pleasure of a vintage to have,” agreed François Lieubeau of Domaine La Fruitière.

“From an economic point of view it’s difficult but it’s great to offer them to the market.”

However, as with reports from other regions, the harvest was only half its normal size – down to around 250,000 hectolitres from an average of 450,000hl.

Cormerais added that his yields in Clisson in Sèvre & Maine were cut to 17 to 18hl when 40 was more normal.

Although producers have been able to use stock from 2010 and 2011 to tie themselves over, they are hoping that yields will go up this year, if it doesn’t then prices will have to rise.

Unfortunately the year has got off to a late start, with flowering delayed by around two weeks thanks to a long winter and cold spring.

Marie Luneau of Domaine Luneau-Papin explained: “We will probably harvest in late September. We had a very long winter so it’s only spring now really.”

On the other hand, biodynamic producer Guy Bossard of Domaine de l’Ecu, was less bothered by the apparent tardiness of the year quoting a saying: “If it has flowered by the feast of St John (the 24 June) it is neither too early or too late.”

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