03 November 2017

The vineyard on November 1

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.


  1. Nice walks in the vineyard without muddy feet, and attractive views from your windows--- things to be thankful for :)

  2. Don't they always say dry years make for the best wines, and wet years the reverse? Your pictures are beautiful with all the autumn colors we don't get here.

    1. I think that's right about dryer weather being better for the grapes and therefore the wines. Too much moisture makes the grapes fill up with water and dilutes their flavor, as well as encouraging the growth of mildew and other fungi. The colors here are really pretty right now, especially when the sun shines as it did this afternoon.

  3. I like these late autumn days when most of the bright colors have gone and the sun shines through the leaves so that the world looks golden. The colors there are beautiful.


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