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Muscadet hit in Loire 08 vintage

Muscadet in the Loire has been hit even harder than expected as growers report the crop is around one third its usual size.

Many producers in the region have already finished bringing in the grapes. The April frost, reported on decanter.com earlier this year, has reduced the crop to about a third of its normal size – even lower than originally predicted.

‘Before the harvest we expected to make about 25 hl/ha but, in fact, it’s around 20 hl/ha,’ said Pierre Luneau of Domaine Luneau-Papin. Other producers including Domaine des Herbauges and Château du Cléray report similar yields.

This is the third short vintage for the region, and wine stocks are getting lower.

The rest of the Loire, however, looks to have been saved by good weather in September. Although rain fell at the beginning of the month, the weather has been good for the last two weeks.

In Anjou, white varieties are already being picked and producers will start bringing in the Cabernet Franc on 10-14 October. Chenin destined for sparkling wine is being picked but not yet for still wines. Chinon and Bourgueil expect to start around 4 October.

Further inland, the harvest started this week in Quincy and Reuilly.

‘In Sancerre we will start fully on Wednesday or Thursday of next week,’ said Jean-Marie Bourgeois of Domaine Henri Bourgeois.

Written by Jim Budd

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