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Jean-Frédéric Hugel: 'We are expecting an early harvest' in Alsace

Par Vitisphere Le 28 août 2015
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Jean-Frédéric Hugel: 'We are expecting an early harvest' in Alsace

If everything goes according to plan, we are expecting to start harvesting in the third week of September”, claims Jean-Frédéric Hugel, thirteenth generation of the family involved in Hugel & Fils which owns 25 hectares of the Alsace growth of Riquewihr. “If the current weather continues, it may well be the second week… Whatever happens, we are expecting an early harvest”, he says categorically. In 2014, the family-owned estate began harvesting on September 16, compared with October 1 in 2013. Jean-Frédéric Hugel stresses that “2015 is already shaping up to be a hot vintage, but when it comes to wine growing, offering any kind of certainties before all the grapes are in the winery is always hazardous”.

What can be said though, is that the summer of 2015 was particularly dry and this has had implications for some of the vineyards. Jerôme Attard, a technician with the Alsace chamber of agriculture, reports “delayed bunch development, sunburn on leaves and yellowing of the leaves at the base” on shallow and easy-draining soils. “This very dry weather is starting to last a long time and we have to be extremely vigilant”, confirms Jean-Frédéric Hugel who nevertheless adds: “Up until now, the vines have been in superb shape. The very mild outbreak of mildew at the start of the season has been kept in check thanks to the dry weather and meticulousness of the entire team in the vineyards”.

According to initial estimates by technicians from the Alsace wine marketing board (CIVA) and the chamber of agriculture, the region should produce 1.02 million hectolitres of wine in 2015.


[Sources: Vitabella/Vitisphere; Photo: Vines in Riquewihr (Hugel family)]

Tags : Alsace
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