Die Weinlese im Vinho Verde, der nördlichsten Weinbauregion Portugals, ist abgeschlossen und in den Kellern schlummern die jungen Weine
dem Frühling entgegen. Das Weinjahr 2012 verlief ungewöhnlich und doch vielversprechend. Schon die Blüte im Frühling fand zwei Wochen später statt als üblich. Regen und Kälte führten zu Verrieselungen in den Weinbergen. Auch in der Reifephase blieben die Temperaturen moderat, und selbst im Herbst wurde die Arbeit immer wieder durch Regentage unterbrochen. Was eventuell negativ klingen könnte, ist es aber ganz und gar nicht, in der grundlegend heißen und extrem fruchtbaren Region. Die Verrieselung im Frühling, und der damit natürlich reduzierte Ertrag, führte zu mehr Konzentration in den Trauben. Die kühlen Temperaturen im Sommer ließen die Trauben langsam reifen und bewahrten Frucht und Frische. Der Regen während der Lese war natürlich eine enorme Herausforderung für die Winzer. Doch jene Trauben, die es in die Keller geschafft haben, versprechen großartige Weine von ausgezeichneter Qualität.
Man darf sich schon jetzt auf den Frühling freuen, wenn die Vinho Verde Weine 2012 auf den Markt kommen.
by Adam Lechmere – England continues to suffer the wettest early summer since records began, winemakers are beginning to wonder if they are going to have any grapes to harvest at all. Rain has fallen across England more or less continuously since the beginning of June, and the Met Office has confirmed this has not only been the wettest, but one of the coldest and dullest periods for over a century. Figures for June show that 150mm of rain fell – more than double the average amount.
The period from April to June is the second dullest on record with 119.2 hours of sunshine, nearly breaking the record of 115.4 hours set in 1987. It has also been the coolest June since 1991 with a mean temperature of 12.3C. Continue reading „decanter.com: English wine harvest ’not looking good‘, say winemakers“
by Richard Woodard – Wine production in Australia is set to hit a five-year low this year, impacted by the knock-on effects of widespread wet weather in the 2010-11 growing season. According to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), the 2012 harvest is estimated at 1.53m tonnes, the lowest total since 2007’s crop of 1.41m tonnes. Continue reading „decanter.com: Australian harvest at five-year low“
by Adam Lechmere, and Emily Pearce in Niagara -Icewine production in North America and Europe this year will be almost non-existent due to abnormally warm temperatures.
Icewine picking [Image: Wines of Canada]
In the Mosel last week thermometers rarely dropped below 8C, over twenty-five degrees warmer than this time last year, when temperatures dropped to -16c.
Ernst Büscher, a spokesman at the German Wine Institute told Decanter.com it is unlikely Eiswein will be produced this year.
There was a good Eiswein yield last year, which led many producers this year to hang on as long as they could in case temperatures dropped.
‘Unfortunately to date, temperatures have not dropped to -7C which is the minimum temperature for Eiswein production. The weather forecast doesn’t predict low temperatures within the next few days so most of the grapes that were reserved for Eiswein won’t be used.’ Continue reading „decanter.com: Icewine harvest in grave doubt as temperatures fail to drop“
by David Furer – As harvest finishes in the Pacific northwest, vintners are pondering a season of opposites.
Willamette Valley, Oregon
While 2011 has been the coldest harvest in living memory for Washington, Oregon had one of the longest growing seasons ever.
Lower sugar levels were a given in both states, but while Washington’s yields were down, in Oregon – which saw more rain – yields were the highest on record.
Much of eastern Washington’s vineyards had frost on 27 October and again on 2 November adding to the coldest harvest period for 70 years ‘and the second really nasty year in a row,’ said Paul Beveridge of Washington’s Wilridge Winery. Continue reading „decanter.com: Washington yields down, Oregon up as harvest finishes“
by Cheryl Lincoln in Napa, and Adam Lechmere – Napa winemakers are hoping for a ‚Bordeaux-like‘ vintage, as the harvest gets into its stride with rain and its hazards a constant presence.
Some 3.8cm has fallen between 3 and 6 October, with all the attendant problems of rot, mildew and dilution.
While some are playing down the worry – it ‘shouldn’t be a major setback,’ Chris Phelps, winemaker at Swanson Vineyards said, ‘It will cause delay rather than be a declaration of disaster’ – all winemakers are aware of the danger of rain at harvest time. Continue reading „decanter.com: Rain in Napa as harvest kicks off“
by Patricia Langton – High temperatures in August and September have led to an early harvest across Spain.
Rioja: ‚difficult‘ according to some
Scarce rainfall in the same period also means that yields are down for many regions including Rioja and Castilla-La Mancha, by as much as 30% in some cases.
Notable exceptions are the white wine regions Rías Baixas and Rueda, where the crop is expected to match 2010 or far exceed it.
‘[In Rías Baixas] bud-break and flowering were good and there wasn’t much mildew throughout the growing season despite the humidity and heat,’ Eva Mínguez of the Rias Baixas Consejo Regulador said. Continue reading „decanter.com: Spain and Portugal begin harvest after ‚difficult‘ year“
by Rebecca Gibb – The French grape harvest is predicted to exceed 47 million hectolitres (hl) this year – an increase of 6% compared to 2010. According to figures published by the French ministry of agriculture and fishing, the nation’s vineyards will bear 47.9m hl of fruit, an increase on last year’s small crop.
The estimate includes 23m hl of geographically-delimited appellation wines (AOP), and 13.6m hl of wines classified as IGP, the category of wines formerly known as vin de pays. Continue reading „decanter.com: French harvest bigger than 2010, says ministry“
by Rebecca Gibb – The 2011 grape harvest is scheduled for an early start in France but will not be as premature as first expected.
Bordeaux, Rhone and Champagne producers have all reported that picking will start much earlier than usual but cooler conditions and rain in late July have delayed previous forecasts.
Christian Seely, head of AXA Millésimes, which owns Pauillac estate Pichon Longueville-Baron estimates the Bordeaux red harvest will now be in the early part of September. ‘A month ago we thought it might be two weeks early. May and June was alarmingly hot and dry. Over the past few weeks we have had some cooler weather and some rain and that’s why we can put the date back a bit to one week early,’ he told decanter.com Continue reading „decanter.com: Growers across France revise ‚earliest ever‘ harvest dates“
by Adam Lechmere – The Loire is the latest wine region to announce that its harvest will be one of the earliest on record this year. Vignerons in Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne have alread cancelled holidays in order to manage harvests that will be starting weeks earlier than normal.
Now the Loire trade body, Vins de Loire, has said early ripening, dry conditions and temperatures well above the seasonal norm mean harvest will begin at the end of August. Continue reading „decanter.com: Loire follows Bordeaux, Burgundy with ‚earliest ever‘ harvest“
by Patricia Langton – The Sherry industry is facing a series of crises as the threat of strikes at harvest time is added to oversupply and falling prices – but there is reason for optimism, some insiders say.
This week negotiations between bodega employers and union representatives resumed in a bid to avoid a further strike at harvest time over pay and working conditions.
The last year has seen a cocktail of scandals and setbacks. In August 2010, nine bodegas, and the industry’s consejo regulador, were fined €6.7m for attempting to fix the prices of supplies for supermarket Sherries. Continue reading „decanter.com: Strikes threaten Sherry harvest“
by Panos Kakaviatos, and Adam Lechmere – In common with Champagne, Bordeaux and Burgundy are preparing for the earliest harvest ever as record sunlight hours and temperatures have advanced the vegetative cycle.
Most wine regions have traditionally counted on full ripeness coming 100 days after flowering. With modern viticultural techniques this often comes down to around 90 days. Continue reading „Decanter.com: Bordeaux, Burgundy expect 2011 harvest to be earliest ever“
by Rebecca Gibb – The huge Australian harvest this year is ‚out of step‘ with the realities of sustainable production, a senior executive has said. Yields from the 2011 Australian and New Zealand harvests have exceeded all expectations.
Australia has recorded a larger crop than 2010 despite disease ravaging the country’s wine regions while New Zealand has announced another record-breaking vintage. Continue reading „Decanter: Australia 2011 harvest ‚too big‘, says winemaker federation“
by Giles Fallowfield – August holidays have been cancelled in Champagne in anticipation of a very early harvest, possibly the earliest on record – especially if the warm weather of March to the end of May continues. Flowering was generally completed before the end of May and in some places the vines were in full flower by 21 May.
Adding 92 days – the average time over the past decade in Champagne between flowering and the start of the harvest—picking could start on 22 August. However because August is usually warmer and has more sun than September, it is possible the period between flowering may be even shorter, at just 80 days, which means the first grapes may be cut on August 16.
The lack of rain also tends to accelerate the date, Louis Roederer winemaker Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon said, adding that he ‘would be ready to start from August’. Continue reading „Decanter: Champagne 2011 harvest could be earliest since 2003“
by Richard Woodard – California’s 2010 grape harvest was down 3% on 2009’s figure, but was still the third biggest crop in history, according to official estimates.
The 3.58m ton harvest was bigger than most industry observers had expected, but still fell below 2009 and 2005’s record, state authorities said this week. Continue reading „Decanter: Bumper California harvest down on 2009“
by Jane Anson in Bordeaux-The Bordeaux harvest on the Right and Left Banks is entering its final few weeks. The good weather conditions have meant chateaux have been largely able to pick according to their terroir and style, rather than because of pressing weather concerns.
Chateau Haut Bailly in Pessac Leognan expects to bring in its last Cabernet Sauvignon grapes at the end of this week.
‘We were planning to wait a little longer, but the Cabernets are tasting so good that we decided to bring them in,’ director Veronique Sanders told Decanter.com. Continue reading „Decanter: Bordeaux harvest enters final phase“
jane Anson – Chateau Carbonnieux in Pessac Leognan is due to begin picking its Sauvignon Blanc grapes at the end of this week after a ‚roller-coaster‘ season of highs and lows.
A cold start to the growing season, and dry weather combined with cool nights in August, have meant that most vineyards are around a week behind schedule.
For most properties the white grape harvest will begin next week, with the Sauvignon Blanc at Chateau Margaux on schedule for sometime between September 10 and 20.
Carbonnieux owner Eric Perrin told decanter.com, ‚The yield will be lower than in 2009, but we are very happy with the quality. Potential alcohol looks to be around 12.5 at the moment. Continue reading „Bordeaux harvest starts with Carbonnieux after ‚roller-coaster‘ growing season“
Carolyn Evans Hammond – The Canadian harvest started today in Ontario’s Niagara region, the earliest commercial picking there in more than 20 years. The early season bodes well for the marginal climate, which is notorious for its challenging ripening conditions.
‚The early start will really benefit the Bordeaux red varieties and Pinot Noir,‘ Bruce Nicholson, senior winemaker at Inniskillin Wines in Niagara-on-the-Lake told decanter.com. Continue reading „Canadian harvest begins“
by Jane Anson, and Panos Kakaviatos – As August approaches, wine regions across France are beginning to assess the quality potential of 2010. In Champagne, yields have been set at 10,500 kilos per hectare, up 8% on 2009 (when it was 9,700), to reflect an increase in exports – although this is still a long way from the high in 2008 of 13,000 kilo per hectare.
In Bordeaux, according to Météo France, June was the hottest for 35 years, and the first two weeks of July were the hottest since 1921, raising fears of another 2003 harvest.
Continue reading „French wine regions take stock of 2010 harvest“
just-drinks.com editorial team – The 2009 New Zealand grape harvest, which will begin next week, is expected to be smaller than last year, according to New Zealand Winegrowers‘ annual pre-vintage survey. Continue reading „NEW ZEALAND: Winemakers face smaller vintage“
The 2008 Burgundy harvest is down 5.3 % on the 2007 harvest, and 4.4% against the average of the past five years. It amounts to the equivalent of 193 million bottles for a virtually unchanged production area (-0.2 %) of 27,626 hectares. Continue reading „2008 BURGUNDY HARVEST DOWN 5 %“
Regulating Council satisfied with 2008 harvest’s “high quality” – The technical services at QDO Rioja’s Regulating Council signed off the 2008 harvest with a total yield, in volume, of 397 million kilos of grapes from the 60,905 productive hectares endorsed for this campaign; 3.6 percent down Continue reading „Rioja brings harvest to a close“
Jane Anson in Bordeaux – Sauternes chateaux are still working on one of the latest vintages on record. Continue reading „Sauternes harvest latest ever“
by Caroline Gilby MW – This is a year when luck played quite a role in the grape harvest. Producers all over the country, Continue reading „Hungary’s harvest a mixed one“
Jane Anson – As the sunshine continues in Bordeaux, the Semillon harvest in Pessac Leognan is underway – around 10 days later than average. Chateau Carbonnieux Continue reading „Bordeaux: Semillon harvest begins, Merlot next week“