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Harvesting in Cognac brought forward to September 10

Par Vitisphere Le 04 septembre 2017
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Harvesting in Cognac brought forward to September 10

nitially scheduled to start on September 15 according to the viticultural centre at the Cognac wine marketing board (BNIC), harvesting in Charentes will be brought forward to September 10, two weeks earlier than the ten-year average (September 23). “Temperatures last week were significantly higher than normal which is also higher than usual during ripening due to the earliness of the season” pointed out BNIC technician Vincent Dumot in his latest ripeness assessment. He added: “As heat reduces malic acid, acidity drops quickly and pH levels increase more than usual at this stage”.

80-90 hl/ha

As a general ballpark figure, average yields are expected to be in the range of 110-120 hectolitres of wine per hectare for vineyards not affected by frost and 40-50 hl/ha for frost-affected vineyards, translating to potential yields of 80-90 hl/ha region-wide. This is significantly lower than the ten-year average of 107 hl/ha and particularly the 2016 (102 hl/ha) and 2015 (126 hl/ha) crops. In 2007 and 2008, average yields also plummeted to 86 and 91 hl/ha. This year, yields are affected by small cluster counts which have dropped from the ten-year average of 53.5 clusters per vine to 37.5. In vineyards that were not damaged by frost the average cluster weight is high at 420 g on August 28, higher than the average cluster weight at harvest (357g). However, “due to the very compact nature of the clusters there is a risk of rapidly developing rot”, warned the viticultural centre.


*The BNIC generally recommends harvesting grapes with potential alcohol content ranging from 8.5 to 10.5% with total acidity levels above 7.5g/l H2SO4.

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