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First Bunches Harvested in the Vineyards of Bordeaux

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The first cut of the shears occurred on Monday, September 16, 2013 in Bordeaux, at Château Luchey-Halde in the dry white AOC region of Pessac-Leognan.

VendangeUnder a light rain, a dozen pickers wrapped in clothes to protect them from the moisture in the air, began to harvest the matured plots of Sauvignon Blanc.

“Like every year, we are the first to start the vandange, but this year, because of the cold and rainy spring, we began almost three weeks late. For example, last year we started on 29th August,” said Pierre Dariet, technical director of Château-Luchey Halde, which is located in Greater Bordeaux

It will take about a week to harvest the approximate 2 hectares of Sauvignon before attacking the smaller vineyard of Semillon, presumably next weekend.

“Our property is planted with 20% white and 80% red. For the red grapes, we will not start harvesting the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon for another three weeks,” the winemaker added. Despite a hot and dry summer, we lost three weeks in the spring which have not been made up for. However, we should still be looking at a high quality vintage.

“Due to the cool spring and the hail at the end of July, we lost up to 50% of volume on some plots but the quality of both the red and the white should be excellent, although the red is still at risk until the harvest has been completed” according to Pierre Dariet.

While the forecast is for drier weather, he believes that the vintage will be one of ‘patience’ and ‘in comparable quality to that of 2008’.

Source: La Revue du vin de France
17th September 2013

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