The 2016 harvest in the Bourgogne winegrowing region – every grape counts
In 2016, the vines required a great deal of care and attention. Various hiccups in the weather left their mark on the vines (see May’s edition of En Direct). Nor did the winegrowers have any respite from mildew, which was very present this year.
The sun and heat enjoyed in August and September nonetheless raised the mood. The harvests are coming to an end now, but the various complications triggered by the weather are making things tricky for producers.
The vines in those plots hardest hit will provide very few or even no grapes at all. A few went on to bud again, producing fruit-bearing canes. On some, the healthy grapes are really enjoying the good conditions, while véraison is just coming to an end in other sectors. In some areas, it is necessary to harvest in several goes. In general, the vines that escaped the bad weather have produced generous bunches.
The grapes matured at a good rhythm, and some have made up for the time lost in the spring. The first grapes to be picked – those used for Crémant de Bourgogne wines – were brought into the winery on around 10 September in the southern Mâconnais. For still wines, picking began between 20 and 27 September.
The harvests are taking place over a longer period than normal. Patience and close attention will be the order of the day for this vintage that will be unlike any other.
But a question still lingers over the volume of the harvest. The results of a survey carried out among winegrowers suggests a dip in yields of 20-27% compared to the average, suggesting a total harvest of between 1.1 and 1.2 million hectoliters. But nothing is set in stone, given how experiences have differed from one estate to the next.