The first grapes of the French harvest were picked yesterday in the Côtes de Provence region of southern France.
After last year’s early harvest, maturation and picking regained a ‘normal rhythm’, according to a spokesperson for the Provence wine trade body, the CIVP (Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Provence).
Last year’s high temperatures were not reproduced, although low water reserves saw some areas having to cope with vine stress and drought. According to the CIVP, thunderstorms in August were largely beneficial to the maturation of the grapes.
The CIVP predicts the 2004 harvest to produce between 1 and 1.2 million hectolitres of wine.
Around three-quarters of all grapes picked in the three regions of Côtes de Provence, Côteaux Varois and Côteaux d’Aix en Provence go to making rosé wine – synonymous with the area.
Written by Oliver Styles