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Centre-Loire vintage ‘maybe the best in 30 years’

After the 2021 vintage was blighted by spring cold snaps, the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins du Centre (BIVC) is optimistic about the quality of the 2022 vintage thanks to the growing season’s favourable conditions.

Comprised of over 5,000 hectares, the Centre-Loire includes the following AOPs: Pouilly Fumé, Pouilly-sur-Loire, Menetou-Salon, Quincy, Reuilly, Coteaux du Giennois and Châteaumeillant.

This winter was relatively dry in the region. Spring frost on the nights of 3 and 9 April could have been damaging, however, damage was limited due to the relatively low humidity in the vineyards, and the fact that budburst had not occurred yet (though it did take place in mid-April, two weeks earlier than normal). May was a warmer, dryer month than expected, with the 40-50 millimetres of rain around 10mm lower than the 10 year average.

After flowering in May, there was some heavy rainfall in June (40 – 100mm), but the high temperatures of July meant that there was no risk of mildew, meaning that conditions for veraison were perfect.

The harvest started on 25 August in Menetou-Salon and in Reuilly for the Pinot Gris. The remainder of the appellations contrôlées followed suit between 5 and 10 September, with yields being good to very good.

Francois Dal from SICAVAC, the technical arm of the BIVC, said: “The grapes were at optimal sugar and phenolic ripeness and the first juices are balanced and fruity with the characteristic freshness of Centre-Loire wines. Sauvignon exhibits white and citrus fruit aromas and Pinot Noir ripe strawberry and cherry aromas.”

Yields in the Loire as a whole are believed to have fallen -1% from the five-year-average, with hail storms in May and June proving particularly destructive.

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