10 September 2007

Getting the grapes in

Yesterday morning the grape harvest started in the Saint-Aignan area. Bruno Denis and his father, owners of the Domaine de la Renaudie winery, were just outside our back gate between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. with their harvester and tractor.

Starting the grape harvest at La Renaudière, 10 September 2007

They didn't stay long and they harvested "white" grapes only. All the "black" grapes are still on the vines. I assume that they harvest each variety as it reaches the right level of ripeness.

On my way back from Paris last week I read a set of articles about the harvest that our local paper, La Nouvelle République, printed. It focused on the Sancerre, Mennetou-Salon, Quincy, Reuilly, and Châteaumeillant wine areas to the east of Saint-Aignan near the towns of Vierzon and Bourges. But the issues and the weather are the same.

Conditions these past two weeks have been perfect, the articles said. Fairly warm days, cool nights, and light, dry northerly breezes are slowly bringing the grapes to just the right stage of maturity. Some grapes were lost earlier to mildew, especially in our rainy August, but the harvest should be good.

The authorization to harvest has been issued by the AOC authorities, but the grape-growers are taking their time. If a period of rain is forecast, they will probably work pretty fast to get all the grapes in. So far, so good. 2007 might turn out to be a good year after all.


  1. Funny - I wrote about a similar topic today. Although, I guess not so funny because the vendanges is one of the most important annual events in our region, so you can't really ignore it. (Especially when you spend half your time on the road behind tractors.)

    You guys are WAY earlier than us. Restigne doesn't harvest until the 20th!

  2. Gorgeous photos, by the way.

  3. Those grapes look so luscious. Are they very sweet?

  4. Claude, no, the grapes are sour!

    Amy, I guess our climate is more continental than yours. Or the cab franc grapes ripen later. Walt says the cab franc and côt (malbec) grapes here can be harvested starting on Sept. 15.

  5. I'm sure sour grapes make better wine than sweet ones do. (Not a fan of the sweet wines myself!)

    I hope it'll be a good wine year. You deserve it after the cold and wet summer you've had!


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