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Earliest harvest in Wine Country

Wine Country

The scenery is unchanged in the famous Bordeaux vineyards, with rows of green vines supporting significant clusters of ripe, robust grapes. But something is noticeably different this year, both in one of France’s most renowned wine regions and throughout the rest of Europe. Due to the extreme drought and the wine industry’s adaptation to the unpredictable consequences of climate change, the harvest, which historically began in mid-September, is now beginning earlier than before – in mid-August.

Global Warming A Boon Says Harvesters!

Ironically, despite lesser yields, the season of heat waves and wildfires provided superb grapes. However, getting such a crop required innovative growth methods, such as trimming vines differently and occasionally watering them in locations where irrigation is often prohibited. Additionally, European producers who have already seen the effects of global warming are concerned about what lies ahead.

  • Global warming has so far been a perfect thing. Better balance and ripeness are present. However, Fabien Teitgen, technical director of Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte, an estate that grows organic wine grapes in Martillac, warned that if you look up to the future, the rise in temperature by one degree more will lose the freshness element of the wine’s balance.
  • Grape producers modified their methods as a series of heat waves, and a lack of rain affected most of Europe. Huge pine forests were utterly devastated by flames in the Bordeaux region of southwest France. There was no rain from the end of June to the middle of August.
  • Numerous employees kneel in the vineyards to hand-pick grapes and place them in baskets as the harvest progresses. Making wine begins as soon as the fruit is crushed to generate juice, which is poured into tanks and barrels.
  • The harvest is intended to generate the renowned Pessac-Léognan white wine. Soon after will come red wine.

Perrin on the early harvest

Eric Perrin is one of the Château Carbonnieux estate’s proprietors- Looking back to 1970’s when Eric Perrin was a child, the harvesting takes place around the middle of September. They started this year on August 16. Moreover, the grapes are robust and balanced, so Perrin predicted that the 2022 harvest would be the best. He also added that the hot weather would prevent the Vine diseases like mildew due to hot and dry weather.

Wine Industry Transformation

The wine industry has transformed as a result of the drought. Vintners used to shape vines to allow grapes to receive the most sunlight possible so that more sugar, which turns into alcohol, would be created. To maintain the fruit’s acidity and freshness this year, producers tended to let leaves cover the grapes, according to Teitgen.

Teitgen estimates that yields may be 15% – 20% lower in the larger region due to smaller grapes and the fact that some of them were sunburned in some spots, but the quality of the wine won’t be impacted.

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