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Burgundy 2016 harvest: ‘Every grape counts’

Burgundy growers are fighting to salvage as many grapes as possible from a year that has seen several areas blighted by extreme weather, according to the region's official wine body.

  • Total Burgundy 2016 harvest down 20% to 27% on 2015, says BIVB

  • Hail, frost and mildew mean some growers have no grapes

  • But those who escaped bad weather report ‘generous bunches’

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‘Every grape counts,’ said the local BIVB wine bureau in its Burgundy 2016 harvest update this week.

Hailstorms and severe frost played havoc with vineyards in several areas during the growing season.

Burgundy suffered its worst frost since 1981 and Chablis was hit by two hailstorms inside one month.

‘Various hiccups in the weather left their mark on the vines,’ said BIVB.

‘Nor did the winegrowers have any respite from mildew, which was very present this year.’

It added, ‘The vines in those plots hardest hit will provide very few or even no grapes at all.’

But it’s not all bad news. ‘In general, the vines that escaped the bad weather have produced generous bunches,’ said BIVB.

Burgundy’s 2016 harvest is likely to be between 20% and 27% smaller than 2015, it said after surveying growers.

That will put even more pressure on supplies after a string of short harvests in several areas. Some merchants have already predicted that Chablis prices will rise.

Pickers got started on grapes for Crémant de Bourgogne sparkling wines on 10 September.

For Burgundy whites and reds, most domaines are set to begin in the next week, BIVB said.

It added that growers would need patience this year, because uneven ripeness and a late start to the season means harvest is likely to take longer than normal.

More 2016 harvest news:

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