August 20, 2020

Harvest Report 2020

West Coast Harvest 2020 news: check it out here. See below for harvest updates for our European growers.

The harvest is finished. And the vintage 2020 is WONDERFUL!

[Photo above is Mas d’Amile harvest.]

Amélie d’Hurlaborde
Mas d’Amile, Montpeyroux
September 25, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

The picking has ended the 6th of September. After a very hot summer, particularly August, we were anxious about the harvest. Fortunately, we had rains at the beginning of September. The result is a qualitative Vintage.

We picked for the first year the vines we bought (old vines), which are exposed North in the Côte de Brouilly and we are very satisfied of the quality.

Laure Jambon
Domaine du Pavillon de Chavannes, Beaujolais
September 25, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Weather keeping us on our toes here. We are about half way through. Picking again tomorrow. Happily the Mistral wakes up this weekend so should have a good week next week.

James King
Château Unang, Ventoux
September 23, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

About harvest, it’s again an exceptional precocity, but less and less rare… A heterogeneous maturity linked to a particularly dry climatic season and extreme temperatures…

The first impression is that we have Meuniers and Pinot Noirs full of fruit, very dense and colorful. Chardonnays with more tension, fresher than the 2 previous vintages and very distinctive of their different terroirs. We see great things to come and a promising result. A lot of satisfaction with the work done in the vineyard by our team. Only one disappointment, the yield authorized by AOC Champagne, which will not allow us to properly value our work in sufficient quantity for the upcoming years…

I leave you now with this first impression. I hope you’ll be able to come taste these wines soon.

Jean-Marc Sélèque
Champagne JM Sélèque, Pierry
September 23, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

What a beautiful harvest we have just finished! Two weeks of harvest under the sun with a good team, magnificent grape clusters, and controlled degrees. 2020 will be a good vintage, I think, except for the quantity because again this year the yield was small.

However, I was able to make the Vin Cuit and, because the year was so early, we will be able to bottle it at the beginning of November or even a little sooner. That means you can have it in time for Christmas and the end of the year.

Carole Salen
Domaine Les Bastides, Provence
September 22, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Our harvesting has been done since September 5, and the fermentations are going well and even rapidly which is very rare. I think we have high-performing yeast strains this year.

For those wines that are finished, the balance is superb with acidity between 4.9 and 5.2, very good PH between 3.25 and 3.30 which is really perfect, and with alcoholic degrees between 12.3 and 12.9. It’s rather unbelievable given the heat wave we had. One has the impression that the vines did their maximum to keep a certain freshness in the wines.

In terms of yield, I haven’t looked carefully but I think we should be about 50 hl/ha which is not bad at all given the number of burnt grapes–as many as 30 to 40% in certain parcels. The lowest yield is for the Vaucoupin because there it was really very hot; we are at less than 38 hl/ha there.

Didier Picq
Gilbert Picq & ses Fils, Chablis
September 22, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

I am really satisfied with the 2020 vintage. The only drawback is that the volume of the red is small. In contrast, the white is not bad.

Marie-Laure Serrigny
Domaine Serrigny, Savigny-les-Beaune (Burgundy)
September 19, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

We have not harvested the Malbecs yet, we wait for a bit more maturity and maybe some rain…
The white, rosé and syrah are harvested and it will be a great vintage!

Mathilde Fournié
Château Haut-Monplaisir, Cahors (Southwest France)
September 18, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Even though very early, the vintage looks good. We have really good balance and much more reasonable degrees–between 13 and 13.6 for both the reds and the whites.

Pierre Jean Villa
Pierre Jean Villa, Saint Joseph
September 17, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Harvest finished tonight. Ouf! Very tired but the yield was of very beautiful quality.

Thierry Merlin
Domaine Merlin-Cherrier, Sancerre
August 9, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

We just finished the harvest where each day was very long. I will enjoy getting up a little later now!! The result was rather good. We didn’t get our full yield, but we were close (56 hl instead of 60 hl/ha). The quality seems to be perfect, but to be seen….We are still a little disappointed because we thought we would do better with the yield. The vines were magnificent after flowering but a lot of grapes burned at the beginning of August when the temperatures were greater than 40°C.

Pierrick Laroche
Domaine des Hâtes, Chablis
August 8, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

We are all good here, done with Harvest since the 3rd of september!
Nice juice, decent yield…

Xavier de Boissieu
Château de Lavernette, Beaujolais
August 8, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

We finished up the work of a year a few days ago. We began the harvest on August 22. Vintage 2020 is the earliest harvest ever but it doesn’t resemble the 2003 vintage at all. Winter 2020 was mild and dry. Bud break came early. Cold temperatures in April made us fear the worst but we moved on to spring rains. Flowering occurred in ideal conditions, with a good quantity and perfect fertility. Then we had a springtime one dreams of–no diseases with mild weeks punctuated by rainstorms needed by the vines. Up until the end of July vintage 2020 was perfect.

The heat and lack of water in the month of August cut the yield by half in the parcels affected. In spite of that, we were lucky to be able to withstand this climate hazard on the vines with the perfect health of our vines, which helped us limit the loss of yield. This heat wave at the end of August, although extreme in temperature and duration, is also what defines a vintage, without comparison to hail or frost which are accidents and traumatic for the vines and the winegrower.

Altogether the harvest went well. The final alcoholic degrees shouldn’t be more than 14° for all the cuvées which is really lucky for this vintage. Despite the hot weather, the musts analyzed retain good balance, good acidity and the pH is well maintained. These results prove that even in extreme conditions, Pinot Noir still has its place in our terroir. It now remains to follow the end of fermentation. In view of the precipitation that has fallen in recent days, a less early vintage might have suffered less from the extreme conditions in August.

The 2020 vintage is currently in full vinification. It is still early to define the aromatic profile for 2020, but we brought in some very beautiful grapes, and during the sorting we had to discard only the grapes burnt by the sun. All this bodes well for a very fine vintage.

We hope to see you back with us very soon. Although 2020 is the year of Covid, it is also the year of a high quality vintage that we look forward to presenting to you.

P.S. This year is also exceptional for our family because Jean-Pierre and Isabelle saw their grandson participate in his first official harvest and declared ready for us, Bernadette was surrounded by her three daughters to help her with the cooking, and she also saw her great-grandson harvesting. We therefore had in our ranks 4 generations of the Voillot/Charlot family.

Etienne Chaix & Jean-Pierre Charlot
Domaine Joseph Voillot, Côte de Beaune
September 7, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

I’ll start harvest Monday, and there is beautiful fruits now with a good weather for the next week.

Jérôme Mathieu
Domaine de Saje, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
September 5, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

The harvest should be finished tomorrow. We had a beautiful sunny week, and today it is very hot–+30°. The yield is of really good quality; we will know more when everything is in.

It’s not bad to harvest in the month of August. We could take advantage of the pool while the press turned!

Didier Picq
Gilbert Picq & ses Fils, Chablis
September 4, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

We are doing well and started the harvest yesterday–with the Sauvignons to begin! The grapes are very good, although certain parcels suffered from the drought and periods of heat wave. But altogether things are promising. I will tell you more in the coming weeks.

Sophie Chardon
Domaine de l’Aumonier, Touraine
September 4, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

We have started the harvest some days ago and we pick the white quite slowly. It looks good with nice quality. We don’t know for the volume because it is too early. We had no rain since 3 months and maybe the quantity will not be so big. We have to wait until it is finished… 😬

Françoise Le Calvez
Château Coupe-Roses, Minervois (Languedoc)
September 2, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

We have been harvesting for two weeks. We have a good quantity of grapes and a good natural degree of maturity. 2020 promises to be a very good vintage.

Sylvaine Normand
Domaine Alain & Sylvaine Normand, Mâconnais
September 1, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

We started the harvest Wednesday 26th, and had a break between Sunday afternoon and this morning, to wait a bit before picking the Chardonnay Grand Cru. The grapes are beautiful! We will finish Thursday or Friday this week.

Gilles Lancelot
Champagne Lancelot Pienne, Cramant
September 1, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Here we began the harvest yesterday. It’s the first time we begin in August!

Annick Roblin
Matthias & Emile Roblin, Sancerre
September 1, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Our harvest ended Thursday at noon. We cut under the sun but without much heat. The team was cool, and the atmosphere was nice despite the anxiety-provoking aspect of this f___g Covid. All of them respected the necessary protective gestures, but it was not easy.

The Paulée [Burgundian festival held at the end of the grape harvest] was in the courtyard of the winery in the form of a brunch, with good weather and the musicians of the group: Angela on the guitar, Jean with his hurdy-gurdy and Bernard on the accordion.

The harvest is of good quality but low quantity because of the lack of rain …… it has become serious and recurring. We won’t have a lot of work in wine making and of course no chaptalization to do.

Now we have time to clean and tidy up …… and we are only at the end of August!!!

Jean-Pierre Charlot
Domaine Joseph Voillot, Côte de Beaune
August 29, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

The harvest is looking a tad early but the welcome, and much needed, rain may end up stringIng things out a little more than we are thinking now. Aside from some early yield loss to mildew early in the season, the crop is looking pretty good.

James King
Château Unang, Ventoux
August 23, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Here we anticipate harvesting around September 10, almost 3 weeks in advance. We have just had several days of a heat wave. The vines were stressed, but fortunately last night we had a big storm which will really help. That is really good news for us.

Christine Dupuy
Domaine Labranche-Laffont, Madiran, Southwest France
August 22, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

In a few hours we will celebrate the work of a whole year.

This early vintage is offered to us as we face a strange evil that changes our habits and with which we compose. Spring and early summer took place in ideal conditions for the vine. She did not suffer from the worries that torment us, and as if to make us forget all this madness, she devoted herself to reminding us of our daily work by offering us beautiful landscapes. The start of the summer season also went without major problems. The vine was able to absorb the first heat without great difficulty with a sufficient quantity of water available in the roots.

The second heat wave was more complicated for our old lady who, despite all our efforts, suffered from high temperatures. The harvest volume will be less than expected, but luckily the year went well before this last heat wave.

This vintage could have been the perfect vintage, but the perfection often bores. Life shows us that nothing is taken for granted and that everything that is deserving requires work.

This year the harvest will be very special for us. We will advance masked towards our goal. We have taken all the necessary measures to guard against this evil and it is for all of us the opportunity to prove our adaptability in the face of this evil which will not triumph over the conviviality of the harvest.

“Life is a challenge, a happiness to be deserved, an adventure to be attempted.” (Mother Teresa)

We hope to see you back in good shape soon.

Etienne Chaix
Domaine Joseph Voillot, Côte de Beaune
August 21, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

We expect to begin the harvest next Friday with the Vaudécorse parcel. We will have about twenty harvesters, a smaller group than usual this year to try to avoid problems. The vintage promises to be good. We have thankfully had rain in time and, despite the fact that a lot of grapes have been burnt by the sun, I hope that we will have a good harvest.

Didier Picq
Gilbert Picq & ses Fils, Chablis
August 21, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

For us, the harvest is early this year. We began on Tuesday with Grenache blanc and Roussanne, and we will attack the reds at the beginning of next week. The healthy conditions are excellent and the quantity seems to be good. Fingers crossed.

Anna Tyack
Domaine de Pierredon, Côtes du Rhône
August 21, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

We have begun the harvest. I fear that this year we are not going to have a very big yield, especially with the reds.

Marie-Laure Serrigny
Domaine Serrigny, Savigny-les-Beaune, Burgundy
August 20, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

We began the harvest on Saturday, August 15, believe it or not!!! We began by cutting a little parcel of Bourgogne rouge which couldn’t wait any longer, and since Monday we have been cutting the crémants. Tomorrow we will begin the Pinot Noir crus…after tomorrow it will no longer be a laughing matter!!!

We are in the middle of a heat wave and rain is badly needed. Many are waiting to begin harvesting because the weather forecast is for a lot of rain on Saturday which could swell the grapes. Personally, I think that the grapes are going to rot if it rains as much as they are predicting because heat + humidity together is not good. But I could be and hope that I am wrong because it would be a catastrophe for some of our colleagues.

Gaëlle Meunier
Domaine Meunier, Côte Châlonnaise, Burgundy
August 19, 2020

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Next Post