Another great "9" from France? The trend for good vintages ending in the year "9" continues.
It goes without saying that French growers have had a year of it! From late frosts in much of the country
in April and May, to a series of record breaking heatwaves over the summer that scorched vines in some
regions, with the South West particularly impacted, to a summer long drought only relieved in September
by much needed rain.
Throughout France yields are set to be 14% lower than in 2018, thankfully though the quality of much of
the harvest has not been impacted, much of it being saved by the saving grace of September rains that
allowed the grapes to fatten and ripen ahead of harvest.
The result so far seems to be a general consencus of smaller harvest volumes against 2018, abnormally
small grapes but concentrated flavours and high levels of acidity that should translate into an excellent
vintage in terms of overall quality.
HARVEST REPORT 2019 PAGE | 02
The usually cool Alsace got an invite to 2019's
summer of heatwaves, keeping Alsatian growers
on edge for the duration of summer.
Consequentially yields are down 30-40%, with
Gewürztraminer particularly effected.
It's not all bad news though, as the heat and
drought have resulted in concentrated grapes that
will become wines with great aging potential.
The kings of Alsace, Riesling and Pinot Noir, look
set to be particularly delicious.
HARVEST REPORT 2019 PAGE | 03
Spells of frost, hail and drought mean the 2019
harvest has a 25% lower yield than the five year
average, however rainfall in late summer allowed
the grapes to ripe ready for picking. The result is a
smaller harvest but the first wines are already
showing promise in terms of quality.
The late rainfall has lent a freshness to the Gamay
grapes that will give the wines great ageing
potential and complexity.
Overall, as with much of France, the 2019 vintage
will be smaller in quantity but looks to be a winner
HARVEST REPORT 2019 PAGE | 04
Bergerac in the South West suffered from the
difficult climatic conditions endured by much of
Late frosts, extreme heatwaves and prolonged
drought reduced the yield by 20% against 2018.
Vines were scorched by the soaring temperatures
during summer, reducing the volume of grapes
along with their size. Rain in September gave the
grapes a boost but for some vines it was a little
Overall however quality is set to be high,
concentrated flavours and a good level of acidity
should save this vintage and make for some
HARVEST REPORT 2019 PAGE | 05
By early October the white grapes were in and the
reds weren't far behind.
In spite of the soaring temperatures over the
summer of 2019, quality is forecast to be high,
with quantity marginally lower than in previous
years. The heat and drought in fact acted as a
guardian to the grapes in some cases, with the
combination staving off mildew and fungus.
2019 makes six excellent vintages in a row for the
AOCs of Haut-Médoc. Alcohol levels are in line with
a dry, warm year, with Merlots around 14–
14.5+% and Cabernets 13–14%.
The Sauternes harvest is still underway but ideal
weather conditions indicate this to be a successful
year for the world's favourite dessert wine.
The cool start to the year followed by the hot
summer mean that the grapes of this vintage are
much smaller and contain less juice, but these
factors also combine to produce concentrated
flavours that should develop into another
excellent vintage from Bordeaux.
HARVEST REPORT 2019 PAGE | 06
Burgundy saw a year of extremes in 2019, with heatwaves driving temperatures to their highest in 700
years, April frosts and June rain that was followed by nearly four months of drought.
The harvest began in mid September with the first reds brought in showing intense colours,
concentrated flavours, refined acidity and depth. The whites are displaying a beautiful richness.
Another region to have lower yields versus 2018, as a result of the climatic peculiarities of 2019,
however the sunshine towards the end of the summer has produced higher alcohol levels than 2018 in
the reds. Some regions saw yields of 50-60% lower than in 2018 with Northern AOCs coping the best
with yields down an average of 10%.
Overall, significantly lower yields from 2018 but the quality of the wines looks set to be excellent with
concentrated flavours developing into complex wines.
HARVEST REPORT 2019 PAGE | 07
The South West of France saw some of the year's
most extreme weather anomalies, suffering from
frost, drought and extraordinary heatwaves.
Initial assessment shows yields of 25-30 hl/ha,
approximately 50% of those expected in an ideal
year. Estates affected by the frost lost as much as
80% of their crop with others unaffected.
Despite this the 2019 vintage is expected to be a
strong one, better even than expected. The quality
of 2019 is set to be high with the wines already
displaying complexity and a high level of acidity
that will be conducive to ageing ability, with Cahors
set to have an award winning vintage.
As with much of France yields are lower but quality
is high. However growers are hoping for a less
"eventful" harvest in 2020.
HARVEST REPORT 2019 PAGE | 08
Another great '9' for Champagne.
Despite the early spring frosts, hail and summer heatwaves the quality of the wines from the 2019
Champagne harvest is set to be excellent.
Yields are 20% lower than in 2018, but the success of the last few vintages means reserves are high. The
Comtié Champagne has lowered regulated yields to 10,200kg/ha, down from 10,800kg/ha in 2018.
There is a strong level of acidity and the potential for exceptional aromatic characters, that looks set to
produce some truly delicious wines.
HARVEST REPORT 2019 PAGE | 09
A melody of bizarre weather hit Corbières in 2019,
resulting in lower yields and smaller grapes.
Late rain added some much needed bulk to the
grapes and allowed for full ripening ahead of
The region managed to escape much of the
scorching suffered in the South West but the
drought over the summer resulted in small berries
and consequentially less juice.
Quality of the 2019 will be high with concentrated
flavours in the grapes and high levels of acidity set
to make for great ageing wines from this stunning
HARVEST REPORT 2019 PAGE | 10
From the frost at the beginning of the year to the
heatwaves that scorched the vines during
summer, the Languedoc has endured a year of
extremes when it comes to weather.
The 2019 harvest has left some growers scratching
their heads as they wandered between vines with
still green grapes and vines with ready and ripe to
Reds were picked later than average to allow the
grapes to fully ripen before harvest. They are
already showing beautifully intense colours,
mature tannins and rich aromas.
The grapes benefitted greatly from the late rain in
September, developing tannins and aromatic
qualities that will make for an excellent vintage.
HARVEST REPORT 2019 PAGE | 11
The harvest is now over in the Loire Valley and it is time to make an initial assessment. 2019 will be
remembered as a complicated year because of the climatic conditions we encountered.
Firstly, the frost that affected mainly the Western regions (Nantes and Anjou Saumur) and the
drought that we experienced in summer with highs of up to 42 degrees, which has particularly
impacted the Eastern regions (Touraine and Central Region).
Ultimately, despite these difficulties, the result is a good quality vintage with grapes picked at prime
maturity and the weather turning to provide excellent conditions during the harvest.
Wines from this vintage will be well balanced (alcohol vs acidity) and show very typical Loire Valley
characters with fruit, freshness and delicacy dominating. Regrettably, 2019 saw a smaller harvest
with yields down between 20% to 40% compared to 2018.
HARVEST REPORT 2019 PAGE | 12
Down on the mediterranean coast climatic
hazards including; drought and heatwaves have
impacted the yield of the 2019 harvest.
Thankfully, the September rains allowed the
grapes to plump and ripen fully ahead of harvest.
Ultimately resulting in what should be a beautiful
vintage from Provence.
The rosés are already showing beautifully, though
vigilance was required to extract just the right
amount of colour for that iconic Provence pink.
The wines sampled so far are very expressive, with
intense aromas of white peach, red fruit and citrus
characters alongside floral notes. On the palate
they are showing a balanced roundness,
refreshing acidity and fresh fruit.
HARVEST REPORT 2019 PAGE | 13
Yields from the Rhône have exceeded expectations, with a drop of 14% expected across France.
2019 looks set to be on par with 2018 and slightly higher than 2017. Initial feedback suggests a healthy,
ripe crop throughout the Rhône, despite the fear of sunburn to grapes during the summer's heatwaves.
Infact yields for Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages are up 5% on 2018. Crozes-Hermitage is
down due to freak hailstorms in the area in June. Other appellations with lower yields in 2019 include;
Costières de Nîmes and Ventoux whilst Luberon is up around 2%.
Overall however yields are similiar to the last five year average across the majority of the northern and
Grenaches are showing concentrated flavours of red and black fruits whilst the Syrah is proving to be
smooth and well balanced, the intense characters of this vintage will make for wines that age well.
The resilience displayed by the vines of the Rhône valley and the quality of the grapes harvested, means
this should be an excellent quality vintage from the region.
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