Chateau Carbonnieux in the Graves region south of Bordeaux has kicked off the 2007 harvest.

The chateau, which produces both red and white wines, began the white harvest yesterday, bringing in Sauvignon Blanc grapes. The Semillon grapes, which generally make up the blend of white wines in the region, will not be harvested until the end of this week or the beginning of the next.

Carbonnieux’s technical director Eric Perrin told decanter.com that after a great deal of worry last week, the white grapes were looking healthy with a potential alcohol of 12.8 degrees.

‘Last week’s bad weather was a concern,’ he said. ‘But it evolved, and the weekend was warm and sunny. I’d say the grapes are healthy to very-healthy.’

Other chateaux in the region, including first growth chateau Haut-Brion, which started this afternoon, as well as chateaux La Louvière and Rochemorin began harvesting their Sauvignon Blanc today.

The weather, however, is still on people’s minds.

‘We were worried about the rain last week,’ said Laurent Lebrun at Chateau Olivier, also in the Graves region. ‘But after the [sunny] weekend, we’re all sleeping a lot better. The grapes are healthy and we haven’t had any rot or diseases. If it starts to rain again non-stop, we’ll worry. But that shouldn’t happen – touch wood.’

Perrin said it was too early to talk about the development of the red grapes but most property-owners in the region, including Lebrun, agreed that the red harvest would be unlikely to begin until mid-September.

Written by Oliver Styles