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Rhône awaits harvest with “calm serenity”

The Rhône’s winemakers have escaped the problems of many of their neighbours and are “looking forward” to a healthy harvest.

However, despite a slow start to the growing cycle it will still be one of the earliest vintages since 2000 with harvesting scheduled to start in the south on 10 September and throughout the north from the 17th, which keeps the region largely in line with national trends.

A cold winter led to a late and uneven bud break but a rain-filled spring ensured good foliage growth and a hot July and August brought the crop on “in excellent health”.

A late bout of rain in August arrived as hoped for and high pressure over the whole region means that conditions in the run-up to the harvest are warm and dry.

The final yield is expected to be in line with the average of the last five years, with the Côtes du Rhône appellations predicting 1.5 million hectolitres and the Rhône Valley around 3m hectolitres.

Inter-Rhône’s chairman, Christian Paly, said: “The Rhône Valley is not so badly affected by the potential downward trend in overall yield predicted nationally.

“We have enjoyed excellent weather conditions, and the Rhône Valley’s wine professionals remain calm and unruffled”.

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