One of the earliest harvest, good but localized rains, an episode of heatwave really cruel for the reds and sometimes the whites, a few episodes of hail, the coming back of the heat in mid-September, the 2020 harvest is still running in Val de Loire with a very good quality of grapes but really different year regarding to the vineyards.
The harvest is finished in Nantes, in particular for the Muscadets.
At Gérard Vinet's domain, in La Haye Fouassière, “the harvest started on August 24 on the earliest plots, the rains of August 15th accelerated the ripening. It was reday to be picked. "
The harvest is great in quantity and quality with very good and well balanced juices. However, it was necessary to be very attentive in the cellar to obtain nice musts before fermentation.
In Anjou with Patrick Baudouin: "we already finished to harvest 75% of Chenin and we have not yet started the Cabernets (planned for next week). We won't make sweet wines this year because there is not a lot of botrytis today and I like the early botrytis. The vines of Quarts de Chaume will make Anjou dry. We harvested Savennières first and we had to do a little sorting, because of the higher rainfall on this sector compared to the Layon. The grapes are very beautiful but we will have to be very careful with the fermentation, among other things for volatile acidity. "
At Philippe Boucard, in Bourgueil, the harvest started this morning (September 17th) whereas it was scheduled for the 21st. "The heat and the very rapid climb in sugars made us accelerate the movement. We only harvest in the morning but we're going to make it really quickly. In the meantime, it smells like ripe fruit in the grape harvest bins, it's going to be superb. "
The vines planted on the clay are picked first because, on the gravels and sands, the veraison was blocked by the heatwave and the maturity was delayed. "This situation only happened in 2003 and 2005. I think we will have to change our habits, be ready to harvest sooner and surely faster."
For Jean-Marc Gilet, in Vouvray, the volumes are lower than expected but the situations are quite diverse between the estates. "The potential degrees are high but the acidity remains quite strong with very good balance. For us, the harvest ends tomorrow, September 18th."
In Quincy, Nicolas Lecomte finished on September 16th to restart just the day after, on the 17th at… Châteaumeillant. The sauvignon harvest was very good with yields around 55 hl/ha. "In Châteaumeillant I was a little afraid to deal with very heterogeneous maturities, but since the beginning the grapes are all magnificent."
In Pouilly-Fumé, the harvest ended on Friday September 11th for Serge Dagueneau et Filles estate. For Valérie, the fruits were small and the yields lower than expected. "Due to the temperatures of the day, we harvested very early in the morning. In Côtes de la Charité, we have very low yields on the reds but it will be very good."
In Côte Roannaise, at Domaine Sérol, "the Gamays are picked, the IGP Urgé whites (Chenin and Viognier) will be picked next week. The quality is there but the yields are very small due to the drought and hail which affected some plots ". The potential degrees are not too high, the altitude (between 450 and 520 meters) and the geographical position of the appellation keep the nights cool. The fermentations started very quickly and are going very well. "
As we could imagine, 2020 will remain an epic vintage which, despite an almost general precocity, will present very different faces depending on the regions, appellations, estates and plots. We will come back to follow the new wines in a few weeks.