Vigneron’s across France endured a disastrous spring, followed by an equally unpromising start to the summer, however the recent emergence of the sun means that the 2013 vintage could now become one to remember.
Hail storms and heavy rains throughout the spring delayed harvest by at least two weeks, however, the current forecast is favourable and indicates that the warm weather is here to stay throughout the summer and into the autumn.
Pascal Férat, president of the representative body of grape growers, the SGV, in Champagne explained that: “The current weather report is favourable, flowering has finished, with the potential of a generous yield, but the summer months will determine the quality of the grapes and the wine,”
Growers are certain that the harvest will be late: “The harvest will not be as early as last year, that’s for sure,” said Jean Bourjade of Inter Beaujolais, the gamay-producing region’s wine trade body.
This situation is mirrored in Bordeaux: “We are two to three weeks behind, compared to a normal year. A beautiful summer, which is expected, will allow us to make up a week but we will certainly have a very late harvest,” said Benoît Purbet, vineyard manager in Saint-Émilion region.
Again, in the Loire Valley, Jean-Martin Dutour, of InterLoire commented: “Compared to recent years, we are between 10 and 20 days behind. If we have good weather in the months of July, August and September, it may not be so late in the end.”
The general consensus is that a reasonable crop is expected, but not outstanding. Cold weather and hail have still reduced yields considerably.
Comparisons are being made between this year and the conditions of 1983- a rainy spring followed by a dry summer.