• Chris Mercer - Source: www.decanter.com

High hopes as Bordeaux 2019 white wine harvest starts

Châteaux have played down the impact of summer heatwaves as white wine grape pickers head for the vineyards, and all estates have one eye on the skies ahead of the red wine harvest expected later in September.

That time already? The first grapes for dry white wines are being picked in Bordeaux... Credit: JBN/SCOPE-IMAGE/Alamy

Harvesting has officially begun in Bordeaux, where the first grapes for dry white wines were picked this week.

Château Smith Haut Lafitte, producer of some of the region's most lauded white wines, began bringing in its first parcels of Sauvignon Blanc on 27 August.

Fierce heatwaves in both June and July slowed up the ripening process, but there was optimism among estates that the relatively short-lived heat spikes will not have caused lasting damage to Bordeaux's 2019 white wine vintage.

Decanter's chief Bordeaux critic, Jane Anson, told Decanter.com, 'There's no question that this has been a hot summer, which must be a little worrying for the acid balance in the whites, although August generally saw cooler temperatures than the heatwave of July, and with many whites coming in this week, there is plenty of optimism for the harvest.'

Florence Cathiard, co-owner of Smith-Haut-Lafitte, told the France 3 station this week that she expected a 'superb' white wine crop.

Nearby Château Olivier, also in the Pessac-Léognan appellation south of Bordeaux centre, started its white wine harvest on 29 August.

Testing showed ‘a promising balance between sugar and acidity levels,’ it said, adding that fine weather has kept vineyard diseases away. Veraison – where the grapes begin to change colour and ripen – has been uniform, it said.

‘The current sunny and dry weather conditions are a great way to start the 2019 harvest,’ said Olivier.

Read more the full article at: https://www.decanter.com/wine-news/bordeaux-2019-white-wine-harvest-starts-423674/

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