The Loire is the latest wine region to announce that its harvest will be one of the earliest on record this year.
Vignerons in Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne have alread cancelled holidays in order to manage harvests that will be starting weeks earlier than normal.
Now the Loire trade body, Vins de Loire, has said early ripening, dry conditions and temperatures well above the seasonal norm mean harvest will begin at the end of August.
‘Conditions during the flowering period were excellent,’ a spokesman for Vins de Loire said. ‘This started in the Muscadet area on 15 May and in the Touraine towards the end of May – a good three weeks earlier than average.’
According to Vins de Loire, white harvests are due to start in the third week of August in the Muscadet appellation and towards the end of August in Nantes, Anjou, Touraine and Saumur.
The average start time in Muscadet is the first or second week in September, in Anjou-Saumur 15 September, and Touraine at the end of September. Reds tend to come in towards the end of September or the beginning of October.
This year the Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc are predicted to hold out until around 10 September.
The spokesman added that vignerons were optimistic about the condition of the vines and the health of the fruit itself, but as always, the weeks leading up to harvest are crucial.
Written by Adam Lechmere