Pacherenc de Saint-Sylvestre –2017 ends with a torch-lit harvest

Wednesday January 03 2018 by Vitisphere

- Photo credit : Plaimont Producteurs

The ultimate benchmark for late harvest wines, the New Year’s grape harvest in Gers has not only become a tradition but also a high point in the wine tourism calendar. The village of Viella will welcome 2,000 visitors and wine growers from the Crouseilles co-operative winery – part of the Plaimont Producteurs group – on New Year’s Eve. Sweet wine enthusiasts will gather for the traditional torch-lit harvest. The remaining, candied clusters from the 2017 vintage will offer participants a rare experience whilst producing a limited edition Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh label. With yields of just 5 hectolitres per hectare, this last crop produces just 3,000 half-litre bottles, which retail for 35 euros at wine merchants’.

Every year, approximately fifteen vineyards are selected for the ultimate late harvest. Although the foothills of the Pyrenees provide protection against the onset of grey rot, wine growers are faced with another threat – hungry birds. Long range acoustic devices and nets are used to protect the Petit and Gros Manseng vines.

1991

Plaimont Producteurs recalls how the ultra-late harvest was introduced in 1991. After an early bout of frost, the grapes did not properly ripen in November and grape picking was delayed until December, opening up new opportunities that have since then been perpetuated. 

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