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Small 2019 harvest for Daumas Gassac

One of the Languedoc’s leading estates, Mas de Daumas Gassac, has reported much reduced yields in 2019 at a time when demand for its wines is growing and it intends to reduce its vine area in order to ‘rewild’ part of its estate.

Last year’s harvest in the south of France was marked by both drought and heat with the mercury tipping 50° C for five hours on 29 June according to the Guibert family (pictured).

Rainfall was just 187ml, extremely low and on a par with 1989, 1990 and 2010. As a result yields were very low with the red crop down to 25 hectolitres per hectare and white yields down to 18hl/ha – 40%-50% lower than in 2018.

Despite the hot summer, however, cool night-time conditions in July and August helped balance out ripeness and maturity with good freshness the owners said.

The lower yields might have delivered a high quality vintage but it is mixed news for collectors of the estate’s wines.

Daumas Gassac exports to 80 markets worldwide and allocations are already very strict. The price of the winery’s red rose by around €10 a bottle between November 2018 and November 2019 to almost €50.

Although this coming year and others may witness an increase in yields the family has also announced that as part of its agroforestry project it will be sacrificing some vineyards in favour of wood/scrub land in addition to other less monocultural practices.

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