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The Loire Valley avoids the worst with vintage 2017

Par Vitisphere Le 13 septembre 2017
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The Loire Valley avoids the worst with vintage 2017
- crédit photo : InterLoire

For five years we have been ill-fated. Adverse weather has struck year after year. In 2017, we will return to normal harvest levels”, said a relieved Romain Parisis, managing director of the Loire Origines co-operative group, and more specifically the Vouvray co-operative winery. As the first grapes are picked, there is a certain feeling of relief across the Loire Valley: admittedly vintage 2017 was not ideal – frost at the end of April wrought havoc – but previous crops were much worse.

Unlike the small harvest in 2016, this year “there was no pressure from disease and no notable hailstorms. The impact of frost will be less significant than we feared in the spring”, summed up Charlotte Mandroux, technical manager at the Loire Valley wine board Interloire.

No jumping for joy just yet

But before heaving a sigh of relief, wine growers are still treading on thin ice. “Apparently we have more grapes… But until the crop has been harvested, we cannot, and do not want to say anything!” exclaimed a wine grower from Chinon who, even anonymously, would not comment further. “Until the grapes are safely in, there are no guarantees”, confirmed Romain Parisis. Hot weather during the summer led to small berries that may reduce the amount of juice in the tanks.

In the Loire Valley, harvesting officially began with Crémants, Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc on August 30. Roughly two weeks earlier than usual ripening timeframes, the harvest is now beginning for the whites and should last until the end of the month with the red wines – the first Cabernets are due to be picked on September 25. 

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