Some news from the vineyards

Côte d'Or and Chablis
Back from holidays, we noticed that the berries had almost changed their colour. They are sound. The upper part of the foliage (young leaves) is sometimes brownish, as a late consequence of mildew which developed during the humid Summer.
It will not cause any damage on the grapes as these young leaves are not really necessary for the production of sugar. Clusters and berries have swollen, sometimes more than expected, but the yield will be below the forecast due to "millerandage" (partial crop failure) and "coulure" (flower abortion), caused by the difficult weather conditions encountered during the flowering period.
Last week, the maturity improved considerably. At present, considering the weather forecast, harvesting could start between September 21st and 25th.
As usual, the last 3 weeks will be crucial for the quality of the vintage. Nothing is sure yet.

A late, really late vintage. At the end of August, most vines had not started ripening.
The vines are beautiful, as usual at that period in Oregon, as Summer is always favoured by a dry a sunny weather.
Harvesting could start around October 7th in the vineyards producing for the first time and with a very low yield, and around October 13th for the others.
Which are the risks? If it is fresh and overcast, it could be difficult to reach a good maturity.
Looking back at September through these last years, we should be optimistic. The potential yields have been lowered by an unusually severe green harvesting to limit the production of leaves in a lower quantity of grapes.
The bright side of this situation is that the temperatures which could be expected would help keep the acidity and the fruit of the berries. They would also avoid a sugar excess and wines lacking of alcohol balance.

Philippe J. DROUHIN