Early picking season in Europe
Winemakers in the Loire Valley are heading for a bumper harvest and one of the earliest ever recorded. The year’s weather patterns are pointing towards a record-breaking vintage, with accelerated ripening, dry conditions and higher than average temperatures.
Stormy spells in June were accompanied by rainfall – the perfect amount, in fact, to promote good fruit set. At this stage of veraison a spokesperson said they are very optimistic about the condition of the vines and the health of the fruit itself. Verasian is when the grapes change colour and begin to swell, picking is usually a set period after the verasian stage. It is predicted that the hot, dry summer will yield very ripe fruit, “high in natural sugars, making rich, full-bodied wines”. The hot weather will produce wines more typical of the South of France, and reminiscent of the 2003 vintage.