2018 Loire Harvest: An Early Harvest with Favorable Quality
The Loire Valley Wines Council is pleased to announce the start of the 2018 harvest season, which is set to yield a highly promising vintage. Overall, the total volume of the 2018 vintage is expected to exceed last year's production, with an approximate total of 2.6 million hectoliters (hl).
An Early but Promising Harvest
Ideal weather conditions have put a smile back on the faces of Loire winegrowers. Starting two weeks earlier (similar to 2011 and 2017), the 2018 harvest schedule is as follows:
- August 27 for earliest grape varieties (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay) intended to produce Crémant de Loire or Rosé de Loire in Anjou-Saumur and Touraine appellations;
- September 3-9 for Gamay and Grolleau in the Rosé d'Anjou and Rosé de Loire appellations;
- September 23 for Chenin Blanc and the Cabernets.
With sunny weather expected to continue, the early harvest looks promising both in quality and quantity, after two years of lower harvests. The 2018 vintage is expected to produce 2.5/2.6 million hl in the Loire Valley compared to 2.1 million hl in 2017.
A Propitious Spring and A Remarkable Amount of Sunshine This Summer
Unlike 2017, the vines were also spared from hail and frost this year. The early maturity of the 2018 vintage, acquired in spring, was preserved thanks to this year's historically fine summer. The amount of sunshine in July and August was indeed remarkable with 600 to 625 hours of sunlight, 20 to 30% higher than normal.
The rainy month of June, as everywhere else in France, led to mildew attacks. Overall, the disease was controlled by the know-how and vigilance of winegrowers, even if some farms have suffered significant crop losses.
The Know-How of Winegrowers at Work
Winegrowers must follow grapes' evolution as well as regularly taste them to determine the optimal harvest date, according to the wine profiles required for their different markets.
To monitor maturity, tools are available to Loire Valley winegrowers such as Prévimat, a web interface developed by Loire Valley Wines Board to predict the evolution of Cabernet Franc grape maturity up to 14 days.
About Loire Valley Wines
The Loire Valley referred to as the Garden of France, is known for its magnificent chateaux, rich history and runs at the heart of France with 5 distinct wine regions - Pays Nantais, Anjou, Saumur, Touraine, Centre-Loire - each with its own characteristics of grapes, appellations and styles. The wine-growing regions dotting the Loire's banks feature no less than 4,000 wineries, 170,000 acres of vineyards and 61 appellations of origin, thus making the Loire Valley the third largest French winemaking region. Producing 380 million bottles per year - be they red, rosé or white; still or sparkling; dry or semi-dry, supple or sweet - the Loire Valley is France's leading producer of white wines and ranks second for rosés. The region as a whole export 68 million bottles every year to 157 export markets.
Follow @LoireValleyWine #LoireLovers or visit http://www.loirevalleywine.com/ for more information.
SOURCE Loire Valley Wines