Picking begins in Burgundy, by Jason Haynes

Published: 09-09-2015

So the 2015 harvest is now in full swing for most domaines in the Côte de Nuits and taking place in the most glorious weather.
Today is bright, sunny and fresh; perfect conditions for both the harvesters and the grapes.

Thanks to the warm, sunny weather ripeness has arrived in good time in the vineyards, even though some of the extreme heat and lack of rain earlier in the summer caused some vines to go on strike until normal conditions were resumed.

Across the Côte, domaines are breaking all known records for the speed of their harvests. Blessed with plenty of harvesters, thanks in part to the fine weather, working in perfect conditions, teams are plundering the vineyards at great vitesse. Cutting is easy and quick thanks to the health of the fruit and most domaines are taking 25% less time to harvest than normal. There is little need to discard much fruit, though volumes are not huge, despite the flowering taking place in beautiful conditions. The cause of this is, interestingly, not this year's weather, but the cool weather of July last year which had a strong impact on budding this spring. By the same token next spring's budding should benefit from the exceptional weather of this summer. It seems when one considers the prospects and potential success of a vintage, one must look at two years of weather not one! 

Despite the heat of the summer this is not a 2003. Back then many domaines had finished picking well before the end of August. There is plenty of confidence in the region for this vintage, with generally excellent, clean fruit, with little rot. For once, hail has not ravaged the area and sugar levels, whilst not low, are in keeping with the subtleties of Pinot Noir. 

Having started a trend of producing some great wines in challenging growing conditions over the past few vintages, 2015 looks like it could be the second vintage in a row that gives real cause for optimism from an early stage. Once put to bed (or at least put to barrel) then we can get back to dissecting 2014, which looks to be very exciting, both for red and white.

 grappes
   Beautiful grapes in Vosne Malconsorts
vineyards sept 2015
Nuits vineyards being harvested in fine weather

 

wine maker   sept 2015
Charles Van Canneyt at the Destemmer    Sorting table at Domaine Gouges but very little to sort

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