Burgundy hopeful for ‘very fine’ vintage despite expecting low yields

Lucy Britner

23 September 2019

The trade organisation for Burgundy wine (BIVB) has said the harvest is well under way, with high hopes for a good vintage.

The BIVB claimed that although the harvest looks like it may be ‘less generous’, the quality of the grapes suggests ‘a very fine vintage’. According to the trade group, the year was characterised by hot and sunny weather in June and July and a more ‘normal’ August.

‘The only downside was a lack of rainfall that has been going on since the beginning of the year, along with frost damage in the Mâconnais, and widespread millerandage [uneven grape sizes] plus shatter that will have an impact on harvest yields.’

The first harvests of grapes destined to the production of Crémant de Bourgogne began on 31 August, in the southern part of Burgundy. Picking for still wines started during the first week of September, from the Mâconnais up to the Côte de Beaune. The Côte de Nuits, Chablis and the Grand Auxerrois began picking between 13-15 September, while the Hautes Côtes will be picked during the second half of September, or early October.

François Labet, president of BIVB and winegrower in Vougeot, described this year’s harvest as a ‘W’ shape. ‘I mean that we are going from one plot to the next, from north to south and from south to north,’ he said. ‘There is nothing usual about it at all.’

The BIVB added that years ending in a nine are historically very good vintages for Burgundy wines.

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