Bright golden and reddish leaves under a milky sky. That's our scenery these days. It's autumn, but you can feel winter in the air. Here's the Toussaint sunset.
The 2017 Touraine grape harvest began in late August, making it the earliest since 2003, the year of the great heat wave and our first summer here. This year's grape crop was down by as much as 40% in many parts of the Touraine wine area. The upside is that the quality of the grapes harvested was apparently very good.
Cold weather in April and May, including morning frost and freezing temperatures in many parts of the region, led to a reduced harvest. However, the summer was warm and dry, with alternating periods of very high temperatures and then some cooler days. Mainly, it was dry.
We got only about two-thirds as much rain as we might expect in August, September, and October. In wet years, we'd get two or three times as much. The dry weather continues, but the grapes were taken in long ago. Some varieties fared better than others.
As you can see, some parcels have lost all their leaves now, but others haven't. Soon, the vineyard will take on its wintertime "graveyard" look. Pruning will begin, to prepare the vines for next year's new growth.
Meanwhile, we are enjoying walks through the vineyard in dry weather — no wet feet or muddy boots — and the views from our windows are colorful. But the fact is, we need some rain now.