It has been very dry in this part of the Loire Valley since mid-July. We've had hardly any rain. On August 29, a week ago, some rain fell, but we got only a few sprinkles in the Saint-Aignan area. West of us, that day saw from half to three-quarters of an inch of rainfall. But not here.
As a result, the grape harvest has been delayed here in the Touraine and Touraine-Chenonceau grape-growing area, as well as in the Cheverny and Vendômois wine zones north of us. Last weekend, our regional newspaper, La Nouvelle République (link), announced the decision to wait another week or so in the headline that I borrowed as the title of this post. It's a pun (un jeu de mots) on the word précipitation, which means both "rainfall" and "haste." There's no hurry to get the grapes in.
It's been so dry that the grapes haven't ripened as much as they should have. The varietal that has been especially affected by drought is Sauvignon Blanc, which is the backbone of the wine business here in the Val de Cher. Experts aren't sure the Sauvignon grapes contain enough juice at this point to make for a good harvest. (A confession: I've been tasting a few grapes on my morning walks with Tasha, and they seem sweet and juicy to me.)
The grapes are healthy, and the weather is predicted to stay dry, so a few more days on the vines can only improve them. Météociel has no rain in our forecast for the next 10 days. The grapes are machine-harvested, not hand-picked, so the process can go pretty fast once it begins. To the west of us, the harvest has already begun. It looks like 2018 will be a banner year for grapes in many parts of France.