Staggered harvest in the Rhône16th October, 2013 by Rupert Millar
The late spring that has so affected France’s vineyards this year has meant harvesting has finished in the southern Rhône before it has even begun in parts of the north.
Fortunately for the southern French region, the Mediterranean climate has helped stave off problems with rot and kept the crop healthy.
Nonetheless, it will still be a small harvest with volumes hovering around those of 2012 – which were 1.5 million hectolitres for the Côtes du Rhône and 3m for the Rhône Valley.
Good quality is apparently expected in all varieties although the Grenache and Viognier are expected to be the worst hit by the drop in volumes.
With harvesting largely finished in the south, Nicolas Constantin, manager of the Oenological Advice Service at Inter-Rhône, said: “In the southern Rhône, the first Syrah cuvées are well-coloured and fruity; on another note, this year’s whites and rosés are particularly successful and highly aromatic.”
Meanwhile, in the north of the Côtes du Rhône, harvests are very staggered”, Fabien Ozanne, Inter-Rhône’s oenologist in charge of the northern Côtes du Rhône, reported, “but the vineyards are in perfect health.”